Gao, N.; Kong, X.; Lv, H.; Sun, Z., and Liu, Y., 2020. An effective fluorescent probe method applied in the analysis of microplastics. In: Liu, X. and Zhao, L. (eds.), Today's Modern Coastal Society: Technical and Sociological Aspects of Coastal Research. Journal of Coastal Research, Special Issue No. 111, pp. 70–77. Coconut Creek (Florida), ISSN 0749-0208.
Microplastic pollution has received global attention because of the durable hazards it brings to the environment. Methods used to analyze microplastics are mainly limited by laboratory conditions, instruments, and labor. This study investigated a method to analyze microplastics, and in situ verification was carried out to prove the feasibility of the technique. The method employed the fluorescent probe Nile red, followed by identification with Raman spectroscopy. Six kinds of common polymers were tested to verify the optimal operating condition of the technique. Possible fluorescence interference that obscured the Raman signal was excluded through verification of the Laman spectrum. Using this method, four kinds of polymers were found in Qingdao coastal waters, and the size of microplastics was confirmed. The results demonstrate that the fluorescent probe technique may offer considerable application in further monitoring studies to obtain reliable microplastic data.