Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry

, Volume 410, Issue 25, pp 6343–6352 | Cite as

Instrumental analysis of microplastics—benefits and challenges

  • Sven Huppertsberg
  • Thomas P. KnepperEmail author
Feature Article


There is a high demand for easy, cheap, comparable, and robust methods for microplastic (MP) analysis, due to the ever-increasing public and scientific interest in (micro-) plastic pollution in the environment. Today, a multitude of methodologies for sampling, sample preparation, and analysis of MPs are in use. This feature article deals with the most prominent detection methods as well as with sampling strategies and sample preparation techniques. Special emphasis is on their benefits and challenges. Thus, spectroscopic methods, coupled with microscopy, require time-consuming sample preparation and extended measurement times, whereas thermo-analytical methods are faster but lack the ability to determine the size distribution in samples. To that effect, most of the described methods are applicable depending on the defined analytical question.

Graphical abstract


Microplastic Spectrometry Thermo-analytical methods 


Funding information

The authors thank the BMBF for funding (FKZ: 02WRS1378D) the framing of the project Microplastics in the water cycle (MiWa).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Hochschule FreseniusIdsteinGermany

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