Waste and Hazardous Substances
Shimadzu contributes in the field of waste management and recycling as well. In order to recycle waste plastic materials, it is important to sort the materials accurately. Analyzing chemical components in mud, gravel, and other materials is essential for appropriately managing those materials as industrial waste.
Marine microplastics have also become a major environmental problem. Shimadzu contributes to building a recycling-oriented society by developing and supplying relevant analytical and measuring instruments.
Analysis of Incineration Ash from City Waste and Sewage
In Japan, incinerated waste from cities is normally buried as specially managed general waste, whereas buried sewage incineration ash is handled as industrial waste. However, in terms of environmental protection, both must be tested to determine the content of heavy metals. An ICP atomic emission spectrometer can accurately quantitate the levels of lead, cadmium, and other metals present in a wide range of concentrations, from trace to high concentration, whereas an X-ray fluorescence spectrometer (EDX) can be used to manage the concentration levels of the main components in combustion ash, such as calcium, silicon, and aluminum, or provide simple detection/quantitation of hazardous heavy metals such as lead.
Analyzing Low PCB Concentrations in Paint/Coating Debris
Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are used as a plasticizer in some coatings. Such coatings are used to paint structural members in bridges, for example. Consequently, paint debris generated during maintenance is treated as PCB waste material. GC-MS is specified as the method for analyzing the PCB content in paint debris.
While GC-MS measurements are easily affected by contaminant components, especially for PCBs with a low number of chlorines, GC-MS/MS measurements can avoid such effects and enable analysis with high sensitivity and high separation.
Analyzing Marine Debris and Microplastics
Small plastic particles with diameters ranging from a few micrometers up to about 5 mm are referred to as microplastics. In recent years, there has been concern that such microplastics are detrimental to oceans and ecosystems. Not only the microplastic material itself, but also the additives contained in the plastic and the harmful substances that attach to the microplastics from the surrounding environment have been identified as potential causes of latent harm to humans by entering the food chain. That requires multifaceted analytical and measuring technologies.