Rapid Polymer Identification of Fishing Gear Using Raman Spectroscopy

Raman spectra of nylon 6, nylon 11, nylon 12, nylon 6,6, nylon 6,9, nylon 6,10 and nylon 6,12 recorded with HORIBA’s MacroRAM benchtop Raman spectrometer. Reference nylon materials were sourced from PolySciences, Inc.

Raman spectra of nylon 6, nylon 11, nylon 12, nylon 6,6, nylon 6,9, nylon 6,10 and nylon 6,12 recorded with HORIBA’s MacroRAM benchtop Raman spectrometer. Reference nylon materials were sourced from PolySciences, Inc.

Plastic pollution from fishing gear is a global problem that harms the environment. Recycling of damaged or abandoned fishing gear is one way of mitigating the issue, however the exact nature of the polymer must be known in order to identify the correct recycling stream. In this paper, the MacroRAM benchtop Raman spectrometer with remote BallProbe® is used to quickly identify plastics used in various gillnet samples. Raman spectroscopy is demonstrated to be an excellent technique for identifying not only different types of polymers, but also different variants within a polymer class and additives including pigments.

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