Welcome to Analytical Methods for Microplastic Quantification in Complex Matrixes (2021)

Description: This PhD course addresses the theory of sampling, sample preparation and state-of-the-art analytical techniques to analyze microplastics in environmental matrices.

The course will start with the principles of techniques for sampling of microplastics and with the principles of clean-up of such samples. We will discuss the steps needed in cleaning up samples for natural organic and inorganic matter, as well as getting samples ready for subsequent identification. We will cover approaches and issues for QA/QC of your analysis, here amongst field blanks, laboratory blanks, recovery studies, and what are appropriate sample sizes to obtain statistically robust data.

From here, the focus shifts towards some theory on suitable techniques for microplastics quantification. We will cover the most commonly applied techniques, namely ATR-FTIR and µFTIR imaging – the combination of light microscopy with spectral images generated by Focal Plane Array (FPA) or linear array-based instruments to a particle assembly. The second commonly used spectroscopic method, Raman, is also covered. We address Raman spectroscopy and its application for automated particle selection for faster mapping. The last family of covered techniques are Gas Chromatographic – mass spectrometry based techniques, where we focus on pyrolysis GC-MS as the most commonly used approach. The last step in microplastics research is the interpretation of the obtained data. We provide our solution for it in the software siMPle, which is used for automated µFTIR imaging and Raman imaging data interpretation. You will be taught how it works and will get first-hand experience during our practice session. 

All steps of the course require a high degree of expertise and training. This course is aimed to introduce participants to all steps and discuss issues, pros and cons of different approaches, and is in general very open and informally structured to promote discussions. This course requires the participants to read up on the theory before the course, and is evaluated by a subsequent test. All the lectures will be organized and given by experts in the field of microplastic research, and top analysts and product specialists from the most prominent companies involved in analytical instrumentation used in the field.

Organizer: Claudia Lorenz

Lecturers: Claudia Lorenz, Alvise Vianello, Jes Vollertsen

ECTS: 4.0

Time: November 2021

Place: Section of Marine and Environmental Engineering, BUILD, Aalborg University, Thomas Manns Vej 23, Aalborg Øst, Denmark. 

Zip code: 

City: Aalborg

Number of seats: 30


Important information concerning PhD courses: We have over some time experienced problems with no-show for both project and general courses. It has now reached a point where we are forced to take action. Therefore, the Doctoral School has decided to introduce a no-show fee of DKK 3.000 for each course where the student does not show up. Cancellations are accepted no later than 2 weeks before start of the course. Registered illness is of course an acceptable reason for not showing up on those days. Furthermore, all courses open for registration approximately four months before start. This can hopefully also provide new students a chance to register for courses during the year. We look forward to your registrations.