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Technical Report; Development work of the equipment for microplastic survey

  During microplastics surveys, microplastics are isolated from samples collected in rivers, lakes, oceans, and other freshwater habitats and analyzed to identify their type, quantity, and other information. The majority of this work is currently undertaken by hand, which is both time-consuming and introduces the likelihood of human error, where survey results are often influenced by the skill of the analyst. Of all the tasks performed during these surveys, the isolation of plastic fragments from samples (hereinafter referred to as “collecting work”) is especially time-consuming and influenced by worker technique.
  Commissioned by the Ministry of the Environment (Japan) to undertake “Development work of the equipment for microplastic survey” over the two years from 2020 to 2021, we have developed standard specifications for mechanizing and automating the oxidative digestion and density separation steps that form part of the process of isolating microplastics from samples.

  This report was prepared by us and is based on the 2021 Development work of the equipment for microplastic survey Report.
  The use of equipment based on these specifications should improve both survey efficiency and the consistency of results obtained in microplastics surveys.

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