Creating a Hydrogel That Removes Microplastics from Water

ENVIRONMENT, 22 Apr 2024

Pressenza - TRANSCEND Media Service

Close-up side shot of hands shows microplastic waste contaminated with the seaside sand. Microplastics are contaminated in the sea. Concept of water pollution and global warming.  (Image by Pexels)

A breakthrough in the fight against pollution. Researchers at the Indian Institute of Science in India have developed a sustainable hydrogel that removes microplastics from water by binding them and breaking them down under ultraviolet light.

16 Apr 2024 – This hydrogel consists of three different polymer layers (chitosan, polyvinyl alcohol, and polyaniline) that are intertwined to form an interpenetrating polymer network architecture.

The researchers conducted several experiments in which they added a fluorescent dye to the microplastics to track how much of the hydrogel was absorbed and degraded under different conditions. To do this, the team shredded food container lids and other plastic products to create two of the most common microplastics in existence: polyvinyl chloride and polypropylene.
The experiments showed that the hydrogel was able to remove around 95 and 93 percent of the two different types of microplastics in water at near-neutral pH.

One of the biggest problems in today’s society is the widespread health-threatening plastic pollution around the world, which can enter the human body through our drinking water and cause disease, as well as the threat it poses to the global environment.

Source: Prensa Latina.

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