NIVA har fått midler til et prosjekt for å studere Nanocarriers på Svalbard
We have investigated the presence of microplastics in the water column and bottom sediment of the Adventfjorden. In addition, we have been able to sample wastewater effluents from Longyearbyen and Barentsburg. A multi-step approach was designed to sample and analyse for microplastics. A method was developed to filter microplastics from water samples. The filter and i ts content was cleaned up in order to degrade organic matter prior to microplastic analysis by pyrolysis gas chromatography- mass spectrometry (pyroGC/MS). For sediments, two strategies were put in place. The first one was to cryomill sediment samples prior to a cleanup and analysis by pyroGC/MS. The second option was to perform a density separation prior to clean-up and pyroGC/MS analysis. The density separation allowed to extract a substantially large amount of sediment and achieve proportionally lower limits of quantification.
The second part of the work was to evaluate the presence of plastic additives in Adventfjorden sediment batches from various key points. A strategy was developed to extract selected plastic additives (UVfilters, plasticisers and flame retardants). Total concentrations were obtained from Soxhlet extractions. These were performed on cryomilled sediments since this procedure would results in smaller particle size distribution of the sediment and possible plastic particles. This step is crucial to obtain a representative sample for extraction. Additional extractions were undertaken using silicone rubber to estimate freely dissolved and accessible concentrations of additives in these sediments.
Finally a density separation extraction was conducted prior to Soxhlet extraction to investigate whether additives were specifically associated with the fraction of particles density separated. This step is complicated by the presence of coal particles in the sediment. Clean-up of samples was undertaken with gel permeation chromatography prior to analysis using triple quadrupole GC/MSMS.