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Biopolymer Assisted Remediation of Microplastics from Fresh and Saline Water Environments using an Integrated Technology of Coagulation-Ultrasonication/Cavitation

Descripción del proyecto

El marisco sirve de inspiración para coagulantes microplásticos bioderivados

Los plásticos están en todas partes. Estos polímeros orgánicos se utilizan en envases, construcción de edificios, automóviles, componentes electrónicos, equipos deportivos y sanidad, por nombrar solo algunos usos. La utilización generalizada del plástico conlleva una presencia cada vez mayor de partes extremadamente pequeñas de plástico (microplásticos) en los entornos acuáticos, principalmente debido a la incapacidad de filtrarlos en las depuradoras de aguas residuales. Sin embargo, puede que sea posible ayudar a los organismos acuáticos y sus entornos con un polisacárido común en organismos acuáticos y de otros tipos. El quitosano es un derivado de la quitina, un biopolímero abundante presente en los exoesqueletos de crustáceos e insectos. El proyecto MinusMicro, financiado con fondos europeos, analiza formas de producir quitosano y evaluar su posible uso como coagulante de microplásticos que permita recuperarlos y posiblemente reutilizarlos en materiales para la construcción.

Objetivo

Microplastic contamination in aquatic systems has emerged as a global issue with lasting and hazardous environmental impacts. The present research work aims at remediating microplastics in the native and secondary pollutant laden forms using biopolymer assisted coagulation technique. The novelty in this research lies in synthesizing, characterizing and applying various forms of chitosan namely, ultrasonicated (Enhanced ortho-kinetic and hydrodynamic interactions between chitosan and microplastics are expected to enhance particle removal based on the size and surrounding salinity), electrospun (development of chitosan nanofibers in native, grafted and hydroalcoholic forms for intensifying microplastic coagulation especially for the purpose of bulk recovery and upcycling based on enhancing the bridging potential), cavitated (Development of cavitated chitosan nanofibers of arbitrary sizes and correlate it with the overall gelling strength and coagulation efficiency for removal of microplastics of varying shapes) and surface imprinting (Development of a ‘double imprinted form’ of chitosan particle suspension specially meant to coagulate microplastics by dually interacting with the bound ionic heavy metals and polyaromatics, due to its high binding capacity, high selectivity, and fast mass transfer). The primary research objectives include (i) development and characterization of various functionalized forms of chitosan (ii) generate a two-way evaluation system for coagulation potential and (iii) develop suitable collaborations with waste management organizations and perform real-time application on microplastic recovery and sludge reuse (for construction materials). A wide variety of activated biopolymers would therefore be a sustainable, eco-friendly and effective alternative to synthetic and harmful coagulants used very popularly.

Coordinador

UNIVERSITY OF LEEDS
Aportación neta de la UEn
€ 224 933,76
Dirección
WOODHOUSE LANE
LS2 9JT Leeds
Reino Unido

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Región
Yorkshire and the Humber West Yorkshire Leeds
Tipo de actividad
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Enlaces
Coste total
€ 224 933,76