The project will establish a joint microplastic lab at the Fram Centre in Tromsø. This initiative will bring together of the most prominent microplastic research group in the Arctic by combining the strengths of ApN, NIVA, NILU and NP. This will create regional capacity to do microplastic analysis with state-of-the-art equipment and methods. A microplastic lab at the Fram Centre will serve much needed microplastic research in the Artic. Local capacity will strengthen research and reduce the risk of contamination during transport. The Fram Centre microplastic lab will also serve existing Arctic infrastructure including microplastic samplers integrated in so called ‘ferry box’ systems on commercial ferries or research vessels.
The project will build microplastic analysis capacity at the Fram Centre by organizing 2 analytical training workshops and 1 quality assurance and quality control workshop involving world experts in the field of microplastic analysis. In addition, a certified reference material, one of the first of its kind, will be made available for continues quality control. The project will enable microplastic experts from ApN, NILU, NP and NIVA to work together and to support and develop new projects together. The training and QA/QC exercises will not only include visual analysis of microplastic but also confirmatory analysis using Fourier Transform Infra-Red (FTIR). A bench top FTIR instrument will be bought and placed at the Fram Centre in Tromsø.