Agilent Enables a Surprising Environmental Discovery

I blog a lot about Agilent solutions in peer-reviewed scientific journals.  It’s always a treat when Agilent is featured in public news media.

BBC has an article about “Plastic pollution: How one woman found a new source of warming gases hidden in waste.”  Dr. Sarah-Jeanne Royer set out to measure methane and ethylene coming from biological activity in seawater.  These gases contribute to global warming.  Ironically, Dr. Royer and her team discovered that the plastic bottles holding the samples generated more methane than the sea life itself.

In the article’s second photograph, Dr. Royer is prominently shown using an Agilent 4500 Series Portable FTIR.  Our portable FTIR spectrometers support the on-site analysis of materials in the chemical, food and polymer industries.  They are ideal for analyzing liquid and solid samples in non-lab environments.

Dr. Sarah-Jeanne Royer with the Agilent 4500 Series Portable FTIR


Dr. Royer has now published her findings in (of course) a peer-reviewed scientific journal.  “Our results show that plastics represent a heretofore unrecognized source of climate-relevant trace gases,” she writes.  These “are expected to increase as more plastic is produced and accumulated in the environment.”

The paper also describes how Dr. Royer and her team used an Agilent gas chromatograph and flame ionization detector to quantify gas concentrations.

You can learn more about Dr. Royer and her work on plastic pollution here.

Thanks to Agilent applications scientist Leung Tang for today’s blog topic!

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