Raman spectroscopy as a tool for viability assessment of planktonic organisms in UV treated ballast water

Mikkel Andreasen, Kim Lundgreen, Henrik Holbech, Martin A.B. Hedegaard*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


To comply with regulations stated by the United Nation's International Maritime Organization, ballast water discharged by ships must be treated to avoid the spread of invasive organisms including algae. In this study, Raman spectroscopy and multivariate data analysis was used to make a Partial Least Squares Discriminant Analysis (PLS-DA) classification model for discrimination between viable (potential invasive) and UV exposed non-viable organisms. UV exposure is commonly used as a ballast water treatment strategy and a UV based exposure method was developed such that non-viable (and dying) algae consistently could be obtained. Raman spectra from both viable and UV treated algae of Rhodomonas salina and Tetraselmis suecica were measured. A PLS-DA model was obtained to form the normalized dataset, and Cross-Validated using Venetian blinds. Based on their individual Raman spectra, it was possible to obtain 100 % discrimination between the two algal species. The model classified 92 and 91 % of the viable algae correctly for R. salina and T. suecica, respectively, as opposed to 82 and 94 % for non-viable algae. In conclusion, in this proof of concept study, Raman spectroscopy was found to have a potential for algae species identification as well as discrimination between viable and non-viable algae.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103142
JournalVibrational Spectroscopy
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 1. Sep 2020


  • Ballast water
  • Invasive species
  • Raman spectroscopy
  • UV irradiation
  • Viability


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