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Novel approach for the accurate quantitation of micro/nanoplastics in environmental compartments: a spatial-temporal distribution study in Valencia, Spain

Project description

New methodology to tackle eco-threat of microplastics and nanoplastics

We recognise that plastic, be it bottles, straws, bags, etc., often ends up in waterbodies, threatening aquatic fauna. Identifying and characterising these pollutants is relatively easy. However, we lack reliable quantitative results because the techniques used lack sensitivity and/or precision. The EU-funded AQUPLAST project seeks to develop a new method of monitoring microplastic and nanoplastic distribution in environmental compartments and improve risk assessment in environmental and human health. Based on liquid chromatography and high resolution mass spectrometry, the methodology utilised will lead to a stronger understanding of the risks of microplastic and nanoplastic pollution, as well as a correlation of the presence of microplastics and nanoplastics with anthropogenic and seasonal factors.


Plastic pollution is an issue of environmental concern intensively discussed in the scientific literature and public media in recent years. Particularly, microplastics (MPs) and/or nanoplastics (NPs) are a kind of pollutants potentially hazardous for ecosystems and human health that can be ingested by aquatic fauna. In this context, the presence of MPs and a lesser extent of NPs have been reported in the environment and biota. However, the detection of these pollutants generally it happens through techniques that allow its identification and characterization but have not enough sensitivity and/or accuracy to provide quantitative reliable results. Therefore, this project will focus on developing an accurate and reliable analytical procedure by liquid chromatography coupled to high resolution mass spectrometry for monitoring the occurrence and spatial-temporal distribution of MPs and NPs in environmental compartments and the further risk assessment in environmental and human health. This project shows an interdisciplinary nature that involves environmental, analytical chemistry and social sciences research field. This latter, considering the anthropogenic approach of this action. In addition, this proposal includes a two-way transfer of knowledge between the researcher and the host institution, as well as the training of the researcher in new advanced techniques both at the host as partner institution. The results of this project will allow to correlate the presence of MPs and NPs with anthropogenic and seasonal factors through accurate analytical methodologies. Moreover, it will allow a better understanding of risks of MPs and NPs pollution for environmental and human health, providing data that could be used by policymakers. To emphasize, this project is aligned with the European Union strategy of developing accurate analytical methods for quantify MPs and NPs in environmental matrices and biota in order to perform appropriate risk assessment.


Net EU contribution
€ 181 152,96
46010 Valencia

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Este Comunitat Valenciana Valencia/València
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Total cost
No data

Partners (1)