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FT-IR analyses microplastics during two-year, all-women research voyage of World’s oceans

16 December 2019 | News
by Ian Michael

PerkinElmer’s Spectrum Two™ FT-IR spectrometer is onboard a research trip led by eXXpedition), a not-for-profit organisation running all-women sailing voyages investigating ocean plastic pollution causes and solutions. The latest mission, launched in October 2019 from Plymouth, UK, runs until Spring 2021 and features over 30 stops: from the Azores, Aruba and the Galapagos, to Fiji, Perth and Reykjavik. On each new leg, fresh crew volunteers from all walks of life will join in.

Through a Scientific Partner collaboration, the eXXpedition Round the World 2019–2021 scientist team (including members from Plymouth University) is using the portable Spectrum Two to identify and document the chemical classification of plastics found during their travels. PerkinElmer is also providing instrument and Spectrum™ 10 software training and support throughout.

“Plastic ocean pollution is one of the most visible environmental challenges we face. The accompanying and less noticeable issue is when items like plastic bottles or nets break down into microplastics to then be ingested by sea creatures and eventually us at the dinner table,” said NH Kim VP/GM of Applied Markets, PerkinElmer. “Studying microplastics to accelerate scientific understanding and drive answers is paramount. We’re proud to be part of the eXXpedition voyage and believe their research will generate interesting findings to help drive future environmental responses.”

Emily Penn, ocean advocate, skipper and co-founder of eXXpedition added, “We’re excited to have PerkinElmer’s innovative technology onboard. It allows us to do real time analysis to identify polymer types and will help us explore potential solutions as research continues on dry land.”

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Submitted by Kim Esbensen on 17 December 2019 - 2:51pm

Important project scope - excellent planning - will produce very interesting results - GOOD LUCK en route!