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Course plan

Course credits: 3 HP/ECTS

Basic course information

Education level: Third cycle

Grade: Fail/Pass

Swedish name: Analys av mikroplast i vatten-, avlopps- och slammatriser

Entry requirements: This course is open for PhD students and for participants from the water sector.  Practical experience on working in laboratories for water and wastewater analyses will be considered for admission of students.  Expertise in working in the laboratory is required. Expertise in chemical and physical analyses of water and wastewater quality is plus.

Intended learning outcomes:

Upon the completion of the course, the students will be able to:

  • Define microplastics, identify their sources, nature and their fate in the environment

  • Understand and explain different methods and concepts for separation of microplastics from environmental samples.

  • Understand different method/ approaches for identification and quantification of microplastics, and analyze weaknesses and strengths of the different methods

  • Understand and discuss challenges related to measurements of microplastics in environmental samples.

  • Get hands-on and practice extraction, identification and quantification of microplastics

Course content:

The course starts with an overview about properties of microplastics, size of microplastic pollution in wastewater, stormwater and sludge. It describes approaches for collection and handling of samples. It provides knowledge and hand-on about laboratory methods for separation of microplastics from environmental samples. Such methods include filtration, density separation, enzymatic digestion and oxidation. The course also provides knowledge about application of chemical imaging coupled with Fourier transform infra-red (FTIR), Raman spectroscopy and other methods for identification of microplastics.

Course activities

The course includes scheduled lectures, literature reading, peer-discussions, two individual assignments, and laboratory sessions. The activities of the course will be carried out during three stages.

  1. Preparatory activities: that includes reading of the course literature and individual assignment 1. Assignment 1 includes writing of a mini literature review to gain theoretical knowledge on a selected type of a plastic polymers, and describe (i) the properties of the selected polymer, (ii) environmental pollution with the polymer and (iii) methods for separation and identification of the polymer.

  2. One day of online lectures and inspiration presentations and state of the art about pollution of microplastics in Sweden

  3. Three days of face-to-face workshop at Uppsala University. During the workshop, the students will participate in a set of scheduled lectures (in-person), peer-discussions, and laboratory work sessions and presentation of assignment 1.

  4. Post course activities (individual assignment 2): Identification and quantification of microplastics in a given sample using Simple software


To pass the course, students are expected to (i) attend 90% the lectures, (ii) actively participate in the laboratory activities and (iii) submit the individual assignments.

This course is open to Ph.D. students and participants from the water sector. This course is limited to 15 participants due to space limitations in the laboratory.


Email contact: Sahar Dalahmeh 
Provided during course

Page Manager: | 2022-11-18