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Water Analysis and Microplastics Monitoring

Get rid of microplastics in water, marine and terrestrial life.

Microplastics in water

Microscopic water pollutants

No matter the cause, monitoring the levels of inorganic elemental contamination accurately in drinking water, wastewater, surface water, and groundwater is essential for protecting the health of all organisms along the food chain. Currently, one of the greatest challenges in water analysis is the constant and reliable monitoring of bio-accumulating contaminants such as PFAS, and microplastics from multiple sources. Microplastics are small bits of plastic, 5 millimetres or less, often present in the form of microfibers or fragments resulting from environmental degradation of plastic waste.

The limits of the current technologies

Various techniques such as µ-FTIR, Raman microscopy, or pyrolysis, are commonly used to identify those micropollutants. However, these technologies are all time-consuming, require extensive sample preparations, and are poorly suited for in situ analysis. These limitations make regular and repeated monitoring campaigns near impossible. Such campaigns would be invaluable to determine the sources of microplastic pollution more precisely, as well as their evolution over time.

A promising game changer

SWIR hyperspectral imaging (HSI) has been proven to be a useful tool to identify different plastic polymers in less than ideal conditions. For instance, it is being used in high throughput waste sorting plants to identify more than 15 different plastics moving at high speed. Adapted to microscopic imaging, SWIR HSI is able to quickly identify the nature and dimensions of various polymers, and distinguish them from other organic compounds one might expect to find in a water sample. SWIR HSI does not only provide spectroscopic identification but also wide-field imaging. Through image processing, it enables the identification of the size, shape and numbers of the plastic particulates under the FOV of the instrument. Plastic concentration can be obtained by automatic counting of each plastic particle together with the volume of water sampled.

SWIR hyperspectral imaging solutions enable a precise, fast and convenient analysis of microplastics in water at very low concentrations and various sizes.

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Beyond our standard product lines, we bring to bear our know-how through collaborations with industry and researchers both local and international. It’s in our DNA to build systems that measure up to the high standards set by our customers in science and industry. Please contact us if you don’t see what you are looking for in our standard product lines.

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