Technologies to extract microplastics from the sea

Technologies to extract microplastics from the sea

Technologies to extract microplastics from the sea 2000 1050 Ocean Decade

Lead institution:

Federal University of Ceara  – Brazil

This project concentrates on researching methods to extract micro and nanoplastics from marine environments to mitigate environmental and health impacts.

When exposed to natural processes such as ultraviolet radiation degradation and physical fragmentation, plastic can break down into smaller particles, defined as microplastics (MPs) (< 5 mm) and nanoplastics (NPs) (< 100 nm), becoming difficult to be extracted from the marine environment. Several micropollutants can interact/adsorb with PMs, which often results in the adsorption of these substances on the surface of PMs.

A process of bioaccumulation may also occur, as animals that ingest or absorb these nanoparticles end up transferring them through the food chain. Removing micro and nanoplastics from aquatic environments, in order to minimize their harmful effects on the environment and on human and animal health, is essential. We intend to study different technologies and methodologies to extract micro and nanoplastics present in marine environments. This will make it possible to reduce the amount and impacts of these solid wastes accumulated in coastal and ocean waters.

Start Date: 01/02/2023
End Date: 31/12/2026

Lead Contact: Rilvia Santiago-Aguiar (rilvia@ufc.br)

challenges: Change humanity’s relationship with the ocean, Skills, knowledge and technology for all, Understand and beat marine pollution
ocean_basins: South Atlantic Ocean
type_of_action: Project

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