Microplastic Sampling Method
Our goal is to develop a procedure and a tool set for the sampling and sample preparation of microplastics from freshwater environments (water, sediment) that can make a significant contribution to the standardization of this type of tests. The creation of a high resolution water sampling device will enable us to sample the fraction with a greater significance from an environmental and, presumably, physiological significance (20-50 micrometers). This is done in order to be able to supply data currently missing for freshwater matrices, to ensure that the results of river and lake microplastics surveys and monitoring projects that will necessarily start across Europe will be comparable in the future.
Sample preparations will be evaluated using different model systems and field collected samples as well. For water samples, an efficient and economical sample volume reduction process and a high throughput workstation prototype is developed, which will not only increase the ease of handling, but will serve sustainability, because it will minimize the use of chemicals. For the preparation of field sediment samples, we intend to use different methods: processes that had been tested in a model system previously, developed on the basis of various publications, and optimized for commercially available instruments will be investigated. Based on the principle of the surrogate standard addition concept, we strive to develop an internal control for sample preparation, in order to obtain a more reliable picture of the measurement uncertainty, and to increase the reliability of the measurements later on.