Journal of Hazardous Materials ( IF 9.038 ) Pub Date : 2020-11-20 , DOI: 10.1016/j.jhazmat.2020.124640 Defu He; Xiaoting Zhang; Jiani Hu
Microplastics (MPs) are widely found in complex solid matrices such as soil, sediments and sludge. The separation procedure is crucial for effective analysis of MPs, but existing methods varied among studies. Here, we systematically summarize and compare separation methods including density, oil, electrostatic, magnetic, and solvent extraction separation. Density separation is the most commonly used approach, but time-consuming and discharging hazardous materials dependent on extraction solutions. In contrast, oil, electrostatic, magnetic separation and solvent extraction separation are emerging approaches with advantages of low-cost, quick, or environmentally-friendly, but with high request of instruments. Despite variation among these approaches, the separation efficiency is closely related to characteristics of MPs including polymer types, sizes and shapes. The treatment of digestion and fluorescence staining can facilitate the detection of MPs. This analysis suggests that further optimization and improvement of existing approaches can facilitate the development of new separation technology for assaying MPs in complex environmental matrices.