Polymer Identification

A critical factor in identifying the source of a microplastic particle is the additives used to enhance polymer performance. PerkinElmer’s family of advanced Infrared (IR) spectroscopy solutions can be used for polymer identification and quantitation as well as the identification of organic and inorganic additives. From the Spotlight200i and Spotlight 400 IR imaging systems to the portable, fast and easy-to-use Spectrum Two IR system, all our solutions are outfitted with ready-made protocols, materials library, and unique Spectrum Touch software. These are instruments of choice for researchers involved in the identification and quantification of synthetic polymer microbeads, as well as for analyzing other compounds in water – everything from visible plastic to below – 100 µm microplastics.

Another common approach is a hyphenated technique with thermal analysis or pyrolysis, combined with GC/MS (TGS-GC/MS) for high-sensitivity analysis of polymers and their organic additives (as well as characterization of particles below 100 µm). ICP-MS analysis is also used for identification and analysis of inorganic additives in the polymers and plastics.

  • Polymer Identification Content

Polymer Identification Content

Analysis of Microplastics in Suspended Solids with TG-GC/MS

Microplastics are a major concern due to their impact on the environment. There is growing research into microplastics, typically submillimeter in size, and which often end up in waterways and oceans. They remain in a suspended state and can be ingested by marine organisms; thereby entering and accumulating within the food chain. Hyphenated thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) and gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GC/MS), referred to as TG-GC/MS, enables in-depth characterization of evolved gases through real-time analysis of the products resulting from the thermal decomposition of the suspended microplastic matter. This results in greater information on the identify of the degradation products as well as details on when the degradation products are formed. This application note describes a powerful analytical technique to measure constituents of microplastics using a hyphenated TG-GC/MS system.

FT-IR Microscopic Analysis of Microplastics in Bottled Water

Bottled water is marketed as being the clean and pure alternative to drinking tap water. However, there is increasing opposition to the use of single-use plastic bottles and the fact that they end up in the environment either as intact bottles, or as secondary microplastics when they do break down into smaller pieces and particles. A recent study also reports that microplastic particles have been detected in several brands of bottled drinking water. The effects on human health from microplastics are still to be determined, but the presence of microplastics, potentially containing priority organic pollutants (POPs), in food and beverages is a major concern. Infrared (IR) spectroscopy is the primary analytical technique for the identification of polymers and the use of IR microscopy allows for the detection and identification of microplastics down to particles of only a few microns in size. This application note describes the analysis of several different brands of bottled water using the PerkinElmer Spotlight 400 FT-IR Imaging system.

Microplastics and their Alternatives for Intentional Use in Products Environmental Agency Austria Poster

This poster describes analytical application example of FT-IR microspectroscopy for microplastic analysis which are used as exfoliating microbeads in cosmetics and personal care products

Polymer Identification Using the PerkinElmer Mid-Infrared Polymer Analysis System

Synthetic polymers are widely used today, with diverse applications in various industries such as food, automotive, and packaging. The quality of plastic products depends on the quality of the polymers or polymer blends used during manufacturing. Identity verification and quality testing of those materials during every stage of manufacturing is necessary to ensure that only high-quality material is used. Fourier Transform Infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy is ideally suited to qualitative analysis of polymer starting materials and finished products, quantification of components in complex polymer mixtures, and analysis of in-process samples. IR spectroscopy is reliable, fast and cost-effective. Furthermore, in conjunction with the data analysis packages included in the polymer analysis bundle, this analysis bundle gives the user the ability to gain valuable insights into a particular material.

The Advantages of Mid-IR Spectroscopy for Polymer Recycling

Application Note, IR Spectroscopy, Polymer Recycling, Plastic Indentification Code, PIC, packaging materials, Spectrum Two, Diamond ATR, Mid-Infrared, Attenuated Total Reflectance, PET, HDPE, PVC, LDPE, PP, PS, Frontier, molecular spectroscopic

Advanced Solutions for Polymers And Plastics Poster

Poster summarizing solutions of thermal analysis, molecular spectroscopy, chromatography and hyphenated techniques for polymers focused on providing more insight into product performance and process optimization that make easier

White Paper: Polymer Lifecycle Challenges

Polymers play an ever-expanding role in our everyday lives. Some are easy to identify, such as food packaging, but many others are hidden in the everyday things all around us, from automotive parts to electronic circuit boards and the insulation in our homes. This White Paper explains the polymer production chain and the challenges involved. It explores the benefits of plastic recycling including testing of recyclate materials and its role in a sustainable future and the circular economy.

The Environmental Impact of Microplastics

Microplastics are tiny plastic particles that form as a result of the plastic content in consumer products and the breakdown of large plastics. Once they have entered the environment, microplastics become pollutant, causing harm to the environment.

Polymer Identification Technology

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