Investigation of Size Exclusion Chromatography (SEC) Column Performance for Detection of Microplastics in Aquatic Environment

İZGİ B., Kuruca B.

International Journal of Science, Technology and Design, vol.3, no.1, pp.99-112, 2022 (Peer-Reviewed Journal)


Microplastics have become a problem of the modern era with the increasing use of plastics. However, the effects of microplastics on living beings are not known exactly. As stated in the booklet "Microplastics in Drinking Water" published by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2019, there is no standard method for the detection of microplastics. Although there are various analysis methods for the determination of microplastics in the literature, some deficiencies are observed. In this study, it is aimed to analyze the microplastics in aquatic environment without using organic solvents, especially in accordance with green chemistry. In this context, Size Exclusion Chromatography was used and the performance of four different Ultrahydrogel columns suitable for aqueous mobile phases was tested. Polyethylene glycol (PEG) standards with different molecular masses were used during this performance test. As a result of the study, the theoretical plate numbers of Ultrahydrogel 250 Å, Ultra-hydrogel 500 Å, and Ultra-hydrogel 1000 Å columns were calculated as 256, 713, and 342, respectively, and the regression coefficients (R2 ) were calculated as >0.97. The theoretical plate number of Ultrahydrogel 2000 Å column was not calculated because of lower regression coefficient.