Marine biology and Oceanography organizations have long used a variety of filter media to assist with their research. While the ways in which filtration supplies can be used are as diverse as the life forms that live under the waves, here we highlight a couple of these applications that have previously been mentioned in published papers to give you an idea about some ways filters can be purposed in marine research.
In a study on mercury content of the ocean area between Antarctica and Tasmania, researchers from the Ifremer Institute used the 0.2 Micron, 47 mm polycarbonate membrane filters to filter samples of seawater and brine prior to determining their mercury content through atomic fluorescence spectroscopy. The PCTE membranes were used in conjunction with Sartorius filtration devices and a Nalgene vacuum pump to attain filtered water in volumes between 100 and 1000 mL. By applying this filtration setup the researchers were able to find patterns in how mercury travels the ocean.
Another oceanographic use for filtration materials comes from the study of zooplankton that live deep in the Pacific Ocean. 1.2 Micron silver membrane filters were used to pre-filter samples of plankton waste prior to nitrogen content analysis via a high temperature combustion technique.
Also using silver membrane filters (1.2 Micron, 25 mm) was an experiment by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution which used them as part of a study to see if the growth of marine phytoplankton in certain areas leads to organic carbon being exported. Here the membranes were used to collect and prepare particles from deep water samples for further analysis.
Remember, these are just a few examples of how filters can be used in the marine sciences. If you’ve been doing your own tests with filter media, let us know in the comments!