Microplastics Sampler offers more precision

OSIL's microplastics sampler OSIL's microplastics sampler allows for very precise placement within the water column. Credit: OSIL
Industry Database

Environmental monitoring experts Ocean Scientific International Ltd (OSIL) have released a new microplastics sampler for the collection of water samples for the analysis of microplastics.

Designed as a large volume water sampler that allows researchers to collect and characterise suspended and sinking particles in the water column, the microplastics sampler avoids the problems associated with traditional systems using towed nets, which have issues with pressure waves affecting the different sizes of microplastics resulting in over/ under reporting of concentrations.

The sampler allows for very precise placement within the water column and provides a more accurate and reliable representation of the true concentration of microplastics in the water column than might be achieved by traditional collection systems.

Multiple sample uses

50 litres of water can be collected in a single sample and upon recovery the device remains upright on deck to allow dense particles to slowly sink to the bottom. The upper five litres can be drawn off to be sampled for positively buoyant plastics, with the next 40 litres slowly drained through a tap for neutrally buoyant materials.

The bottom section of the water bottle, containing the remaining five litres of water and the dense plastic particles can then be disconnected from the main body. This lower section can then be analysed in the laboratory where the flat bottom of the chamber offers an excellent backdrop for photographing/ and or subsampling using a wide-bore pipette for further analysis.

By Rebecca Jeffrey

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