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Degradation of micro(nano)plastics in water via Fenton-based Advanced Oxidation Processes under intensified conditions

Project description

An intensified process to remove micro- and nanoplastics from water

Micro- and nanoplastic particles (MNPs) are increasingly found in our oceans and freshwater reserves, and subsequently in the stomachs of aquatic organisms and even humans. Plastic debris is increasingly threatening biodiversity and safe water supplies. With the support of the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions programme, the PlasticOX project will develop advanced oxidation processes for the effective removal of MNPs from water. The Fenton oxidation process has been successfully used to oxidise organics and improves their biodegradability, solubility and coagulation. PlasticOX will harness Fenton processes and intensify them to overcome the barrier in mineralising pollutants that are insoluble in water and were not designed to be degradable, addressing a growing global threat.


Plastic debris, including micro and nano-sized particles, is considered a top environmental problem that might affect human ability to preserve biodiversity and the availability of safe water supplies in the future. Hence, there is a clear and urgent need for the development of targeted treatment processes for the effective removal of micro(nano)plastics (MNPs) from water. Although advanced oxidation processes (AOPs) have been widely studied for the treatment of different emerging and recalcitrant water pollutants, their application for MNPs removal have been scarcely addressed. Among them, Fenton-based AOPs display significant implementation advantages, which will be explored and optimized in the present project. The main challenge consists in mineralizing pollutants that do not dissolve in water and were designed to be hardly degradable. To face this problem, PlasticOX pursues the development and intensification of advanced treatment strategies, such as homogeneous Fenton and photo-Fenton processes, to age and mineralize MNPs in water. This project seeks to tackle many of the knowledge gaps in the research field of this hot topic. The MNPs degradation will be assessed in terms of fragmentation, polymer deterioration, process efficiency, intermediates identity and kinetic models based on particles with decreasing diameters. Moreover, the effect of particle size, shape and composition will be explored in depth. My unique research background, which includes material science, catalysis, reactor engineering and a preliminary training in polymer science, will allow me to perform this ambitious project. Moreover, I will collaborate and learn from my Supervisors, who have a vast experience in the field. The Marie Curie fellowship will enhance the potential of my future career perspectives empowering me to take leading positions in the field of Wastewater Management worldwide. Moreover, I expect to develop a lasting scientific cooperation with the European host group.


Net EU contribution
€ 82 656,48
Calle einstein 3 ciudad univ cantoblanco rectorado
28049 Madrid

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Comunidad de Madrid Comunidad de Madrid Madrid
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Other funding
€ 0,00