08 Sep 2021
A new CLAIM-supported research article proposes a tool for removal of microplastics from water
A new CLAIM-supported research article, published in the open-access Journal of Hazardous Materials proposes a novel strategy for the elimination of microplastics using glass fiber substrates to trap low density microplastic particles such as polypropylene (PP) which in parallel support the photocatalyst material.
Microplastic pollution of water and ecosystems is attracting continued attention worldwide. Due to their small sizes (≤5 mm) microplastic particles can be discharged to the environment from treated wastewater effluents. As microplastics have polluted most of our aquatic ecosystems, often finding their way into drinking water, there is an urgent need to find new solutions for tackling the menace of microplastic pollution.
The CLAIM researchers and authors of the paper demonstrate photocatalytic degradation of polypropylene microplastics spherical particles suspended in water by visible light irradiation of zinc oxide nanorods (ZnO NRs) immobilized onto glass fibers substrates in a flow through system.
The results of the study show that upon irradiation of polypropylene microplastics for two weeks under reduced visible light, the average particle volume was reduced to 65%. The major photodegradation by-products were identified using gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC-MS) and found to be molecules that are considered to be mostly nontoxic in the literature.
Furthermore, the CLAIM-involved research paper “Visible light photocatalytic degradation of polypropylene microplastics in a continuous water flow system” shows to be gaining popularity as it has been highlighted in an article by the leading online publication for the nanotechnology community, AZoNano.
Read the full research paper here.