- Start date: 1 November 2020
- End date: 31 October 2022
- Funder: Marie Curie International Fellowship
- Value: £330,999.74
- Primary investigator: 01016024
- Co-investigators: Professor Paul Kay
We aim to remediate as well as organically sense microplastics using chitosans of varying chemical properties and study their interaction with microplastics and a coagulant aid to form a unique polyelectrolyte complex coagulates. We also intend to try out some form of recycling using the wastes generated in the laboratory. We finally aim to find an alternative of chemical coagulation techniques that could curb the release of heavy metals like trivalent Iron.
Current collaborations with the School of Geography would be very helpful in bringing out the living aspect of the project where we intend to perform studies on brine and freshwater shrimps to know the impact of these in the ocean and freshwater zones.
The techniques developed in the lab would be helpful and performed on water samples collected from various locations across UK and India possibly.
Microplastic pollution has been a global environmental issue. Literature suggested an average of 0.1 to 2.2 million tonnes of microplastics are dumped continuously into oceans, river bodies to date1. This vast load of plastic pollutants degrades extremely slowly by physical, chemical and biological processes while releasing additive and toxic monomers that bio-accumulate and biomagnify in the trophic chains, thus representing one of the more serious global threats to aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems2. As per the last decade, research on microplastics major focus has been on the occurrence, forms and nature of microplastics. However, comparatively less research has been conducted on the remediation and recovery of microplastics.“Minus Micro” will contribute to this gap using a “target centric approach”.
1. Maocai Shen, Biao Song, Yuan Zhu, Guangming Zeng, Yaxin Zhang, Yuanyuan Yang, Xiaofeng Wen, Ming Chen, Huan Yi, Removal of microplastics via drinking water treatment: Current knowledge and future directions, Chemosphere, Volume 251, 2020, 126612, ISSN 0045-6535, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chemosphere.2020.126612
2. Mohammad Peydayesh, Toni Suta, Mattia Usuelli, Stephan Handschin, Greta Canelli, Massimo Bagnani, Raffaele Mezzenga. Sustainable Removal of Microplastics and Natural Organic Matter from Water by Coagulation–Flocculation with Protein Amyloid Fibrils. Environmental Science & Technology 2021, 55 (13) , 8848-8858. https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.est.1c01918