University of Oulu

Boniphace Kanyathare, Benjamin O. Asamoah, Umair Ishaq, James Amoani, Jukka Räty, Kai-Erik Peiponen, Optical transmission spectra study in visible and near-infrared spectral range for identification of rough transparent plastics in aquatic environments, Chemosphere, Volume 248, 2020, 126071, ISSN 0045-6535,

Optical transmission spectra study in visible and near-infrared spectral range for identification of rough transparent plastics in aquatic environments

Saved in:
Author: Kanyathare, Boniphace1,2; Asamoah, Benjamin O.1; Ishaq, Umair1;
Organizations: 1Department of Physics and Mathematics, University of Eastern Finland, P.O. Box 111, FI-80101, Joensuu, Finland
2Department of Electronics and Telecommunication Engineering, Dar Es Salaam Institute of Technology, P. O. Box 2958, Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania
3MITY, University of Oulu, Technology Park, P.O.Box 127, FI-87400, Kajaani, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 2 MB)
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: Elsevier, 2020
Publish Date: 2020-05-20


Erosion of microplastics due to residence time in aquatic environments causes roughening of the microplastic. Unfortunately, currently used measurement methods do not provide information on the surface roughness of the microplastic embedded in water. In this study we propose a novel method by using transmittance to get information on the magnitude of the surface roughness of microplastics and to rank microplastics by thickness.

For such a purpose, we studied optical properties such as dispersion, absorption of both plastics and water in the partial spectral range of visible light (Vis), transmission and scattering of light by plastic sheets, as well as, the calculated sample thickness in the Vis region. These were explored for the detection of both smooth and roughened plastic sheets immersed in water. Moreover, by using the transmission spectrum and refractive index of both plastic and water it is possible to estimate the average surface roughness of plastic samples. Our results suggest that the optical properties in the Vis region offer an interesting way for the detection of both rough and smooth plastic sheets and for ranking the type of plastics in an aquatic environment.

see all

Series: Chemosphere
ISSN: 0045-6535
ISSN-E: 1879-1298
ISSN-L: 0045-6535
Volume: 248
Article number: 126071
DOI: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2020.126071
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 222 Other engineering and technologies
1172 Environmental sciences
Funding: The work is part of the Academy of Finland Flagship Programme, Photonics Research and Innovation (PREIN), decision 321066.
Copyright information: © 2020 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (