Microplastics: A Novel Method for Surface Water Sampling and Sample Extraction in Elechi Creek, Rivers State, Nigeria

  • Example BriggsEmail author
  • Esperidiana A. B. de Moura
  • Helio A. Furusawa
  • Marycel E. B. Cotrim
  • Emeka E. Oguzie
  • Ademar B. Lugao
Conference paper
Part of the The Minerals, Metals & Materials Series book series (MMMS)


The geometric increase in the production and exploitation of plastics worldwide has several advantages as well as disadvantages due to the mismanagement of plastic waste. These waste products find its way into the aquatic body. Microplastics are plastic particles with its longest diameter less than or equal to 5 mm. Their microscopic nature, irregular color and morphology have made their extraction from the buoyant organic materials problematic. This work documents for the first time, the sampling and sample extraction of microplastics in Nigeria. An optimized sampling and sample extraction protocol for surface water was developed. The extraction protocol was developed in a laboratory study using a simulated sample that mimics the environmental sample (microplastics + organic materials). A micronized LDPE (<300 μm) was used for the study and yielded a percentage recovery rate of 82%. The digested microplastics which were subjected to SEM analysis showed a slight change in the surface morphology. Thereafter, the environmental sample was extracted using the developed laboratory protocol and a high positive result was achieved. This protocol improved NOAA’s method of extraction by excluding the use of microscope for the final extraction, which, of course, will yield a biased result. This was achieved by the addition of ethanol to the final solution.


Microplastics sampling Microplastics extraction Density separation 


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Copyright information

© The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Example Briggs
    • 1
    Email author
  • Esperidiana A. B. de Moura
    • 2
  • Helio A. Furusawa
    • 2
  • Marycel E. B. Cotrim
    • 2
  • Emeka E. Oguzie
    • 1
  • Ademar B. Lugao
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Environmental TechnologyFederal University of Technology OwerriOwerriNigeria
  2. 2.Instituto de Pesquisas Energeticas e NuclearesSão PauloBrazil

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