27-11-2017 08:30 AM | Lathika Saju | My Indian Dream
Fluorescent dye to detect tiniest pieces of garbage
There is no denying the fact that our oceans are full of plastic. In the ocean, waste accumulates in gyres and is described as Great Garbage Patches. However, tiny bits of garbage that are scattered and hardly visible also need to be dealt with to stop the growing environmental crisis.
Now, scientists have developed a fluorescent dye that helps to detect the tiniest piece of garbage in the marine environment.
Research led by the University of Warwick in the UK has found a practical solution for detecting microplastics in field samples. Microplastics are as much of an issue for marine species as the turtle-choking plastic bags are for larger animals. So getting a grip on the scale and distribution of microplastics is clearly a high priority.
The new fluorescent dye ‘Nile Red’ developed by the scientists lights up when it comes into contact with the right kinds of chemicals, thereby making the plastics stand out from similar-looking bits of gunk.
Preliminary tests on different plastic polymers showed the dye was up to the job of making microplastics stand out. Field study revealed that this technique yielded better results than the current methods used to find plastic.