240. Applicable and cost-efficient microplastic analysis by quantitative 1H-NMR spectroscopy using benchtop NMR and NoD methods

Nadine Peez, Torsten Rinesch, Jürgen Kolz and Wolfgang Imhof; Magnetic Resonance in Chemistry; (2021); DOI: 10.1002/mrc.5210 (open access)

In continuation of our work on the proof-of-concept that quantitative NMR spectroscopy may be a valuable tool in microplastic (MP) analysis and quantification we present here investigations using low-field NMR-spectrometers and non-deuterated solvents for the analysis of solutions of MP particles in suitable solvents. The use of low-field NMR-spectrometers (benchtop NMR) which are considerably more cost-effective in terms of purchase and operating costs compared to high-field NMR-spectrometers and the use of non-deuterated solvents (NoD method) lead to an applicable and cost-efficient method for mass-based MP analysis. For benchtop 80 MHz NMR, limits of detection for PVC, PET, and PS are in the same range as if a high-field 500 MHz NMR-spectrometer was used for quantification (500 MHz: PET 1 μg/mL, PVC 42 μg/mL, PS 9 μg/mL; 80 MHz: PET 4 μg/mL, PVC 19 μg/mL, PS 21 μg/mL) for polymers being dissolved in deuterated solvents. The same is true for the corresponding limits of quantification. Moreover, it is shown for the first time that quantitative determination of the mass concentration of PET, PVC and PS is also possible using NoD methods by evaluating the integrals of polymer-specific signals relative to an internal or external standard. Detection limits for NoD methods are in a similar range as if deuterated solvents were used (PET 2 μg/mL, PVC 39 μg/mL, PS 8 μg/mL) using a high-field 500 MHz spectrometer or the 80 MHz spectrometer (PET 5 μg/mL).