Use of Hyperspectral Sensors in Accounting for Plastic Fragment in Seawater

Pollution of seawater by plastic debris has triggered an environmental concern around the world. The impact on shorelines, open-water, as well as within the benthic environments is significant. The frequent surveys on the open-water has unveiled shocking details implicating some regions of the densities of plastics on the surface waters. It is conventional that plastics originate from microplastic beads gotten from many consumer products, pellets that come from industries that manufacture plastics, as well as wastes from shipping, beach-goers, and fishing activities. IntelZone has investigated the usage of hyperspectral sensors, which counts the amount of plastic fragments in wastewater, sewage together with rivers, seeking to create awareness about the amount, and extract technology required to distinguish it for recycling.

How Hyperspectral Sensors function

It is imperative to understand the manner in which these sensors can inform more precisely how much plastic pollutes the waterways and how they can help identify where the origin of the same plastic. Hyperspectral sensor imaging is a kind of technology that solicits for the necessary information from certain electromagnetic bands that can help in combating plastic debris through recycling. The technology of hyperspectral imaging integrates two mature technologies, which are: Imaging together with spectroscopy.

Since most of the plastics are hard to degrade in a given environment, they are a big detriment to the aquatic environment containing aquatic animals and plants which are useful to human life too. The sensors show the dispersal of insistent organic pollutants in the seawater, by various plastics. This with time forms tenacious debris that settle deep below thereby inhibiting plants and animals under sea from enjoying their environment. Some animals will feed on the plastic debris and die due to the poisonous substance ingested in their bodies. Some species of plants will also become extinct. In essence, images are acquired over several selected areas of wavelengths to delineate every kind of pixel in the image showing clearly how the plastics accumulate and how they affect the aquatic environment. Furthermore, the pixels, which are entirely spectral, are set to correspond to the spectral signatures of the spatial regions.

Bilderesultat for hyperspectral sensorsOn the other hand, spectroscopy entails a recognized technique used in determining the chemical arrangement of materials that provide a comprehensive fingerprint from the collaboration of the atoms in conjunction with molecules, as well as the electromagnetic spectrum. These properties provide both quantitative and qualitative measurements of the given sample of plastic debris measured in reflectance, transmittance, phosphorescence, absorbance, fluorescence and in radioactive decay. The inspected material require subsequent illumination by a radiant light emitting in the wavelength areas of interest such as the infrared region, the near infrared region, and the visible region, among others.


Material collection and recycling

The plastic materials are often accumulated from the household wastes from all over the world. In most cases, plastic packaging comprises a symbol of recycling, to inform a consumer where and how to recycle the product. These symbols can be plastic symbols or forms of assorted symbols described and displayed in the manufacturing industries. Those who collect should target only those plastics that contain one of the symbols indicated for the materials that are most predominant and used to foster accurate material classification. Besides, several producers should be contacted for PVC-samples, polyethylene terephthalate, whose short form is PETE and V standing for polyvinyl chloride.


Hyperspectral sensor imaging is a relevant methodology of classifying plastics in the water seas and establishing ways of recycling it into useful materials. The methods of classification utilized on the hyperspectral sensor images are mostly environment friendly to avert collateral effects. The methods are often used to categorize the plastic samples according to their original type. The validation of the method of classification entails a certain set of plastic samples of a particular plastic material as well as a determined quantity of used seawater. The accumulative quantity of plastics together with microplastics within a certain area in the sea water is always placed on the agenda of many environmental organizations.

The IntelZone technical team are now undergoing a research & development project to develop solutions for hyperspectral sensor imaging.