Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors
Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > Plastic waste disintegrates into nanoparticles, study finds

Photo: Inger Ekström
Photo: Inger Ekström

Abstract:
There is a considerable risk that plastic waste in the environment releases nano-sized particles known as nanoplastics, according to a new study from Lund University. The researchers studied what happened when takeaway coffee cup lids, for example, were subjected to mechanical breakdown, in an effort to mimic the degradation that happens to plastic in the ocean.

Plastic waste disintegrates into nanoparticles, study finds

Lund, Sweden | Posted on December 28th, 2018

The majority of all marine debris is plastic. Calculations have shown that ten per cent of all plastic produced globally ends up in the sea. This plastic waste is subjected to both chemical and mechanical degradation. The sun's UV rays contribute to the degradation, as do waves, which cause plastic waste to grind against stones on the water's edge, against the sea floor or against other debris.

Is there a risk that this plastic waste disintegrates to the extent that nanoplastics are released? The research community is divided on whether the degradation process stops at slightly larger plastic fragments - microplastics - or actually continues and creates even smaller particles. The researchers behind the study have now investigated this issue by subjecting plastic material to mechanical degradation under experimental conditions.

"We have been able to show that the mechanical effect on the plastic causes the disintegration of plastic down to nano-sized plastic fragments," says Tommy Cedervall, chemistry researcher at Lund University.

The study relates to the larger issue of what happens to plastic in the environment and how plastic can affect animals and humans. Plastic nano-sized particles are a few millionths of a millimetre, i.e. extremely small particles, so small that they have been shown to reach far into living organisms' bodies.

Last year, in an earlier study from Lund University, researchers showed that nano-sized plastic particles can enter the brains of fish and that this causes brain damage which probably disturbs fish behaviour. Although the study was conducted in a laboratory environment, it indicates that nanoplastics can lead to adverse consequences.

The emphasis of a number of other recent studies from the research community has been on microplastics and their increased distribution among organisms. There are now intense attempts to also identify nanoplastics in the environment.

"It's important to begin mapping what happens to disintegrated plastic in nature", concludes Tommy Cedervall.

####

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Tommy Cedervall

46-701-473-355

Copyright © Lund University

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

News and information

Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals Reports Inducement Grants under NASDAQ Marketplace Rule 5635(c)(4) June 22nd, 2019

Next-gen solar cells spin in new direction: Phosphorene shows efficiency promise June 21st, 2019

Researchers report new understanding of thermoelectric materials: Discovery leads to promising new materials for converting waste heat to power June 21st, 2019

Millions with neurological diseases could find new option in implantable neurostimulation devices June 21st, 2019

Possible Futures

'Nanoemulsion' gels offer new way to deliver drugs through the skin: Novel materials made with FDA-approved components could deliver large payloads of active ingredients June 21st, 2019

Next-gen solar cells spin in new direction: Phosphorene shows efficiency promise June 21st, 2019

Researchers report new understanding of thermoelectric materials: Discovery leads to promising new materials for converting waste heat to power June 21st, 2019

Millions with neurological diseases could find new option in implantable neurostimulation devices June 21st, 2019

Discoveries

'Nanoemulsion' gels offer new way to deliver drugs through the skin: Novel materials made with FDA-approved components could deliver large payloads of active ingredients June 21st, 2019

Next-gen solar cells spin in new direction: Phosphorene shows efficiency promise June 21st, 2019

Ice lithography: opportunities and challenges in 3D nanofabrication June 21st, 2019

Researchers report new understanding of thermoelectric materials: Discovery leads to promising new materials for converting waste heat to power June 21st, 2019

Materials/Metamaterials

Next-gen solar cells spin in new direction: Phosphorene shows efficiency promise June 21st, 2019

Electron-behaving nanoparticles rock current understanding of matter: Discovery will lead to new methods for materials design June 20th, 2019

University of Konstanz researchers create uniform-shape polymer nanocrystals: Researchers from the University of Konstanz's CRC 1214 'Anisotropic Particles as Building Blocks: Tailoring Shape, Interactions and Structures' generate uniform-shape nanocrystals using direct polymeriz June 14th, 2019

Laser technique could unlock use of tough material for next-generation electronics: Researchers make graphene tunable, opening up its band gap to a record 2.1 electronvolts May 30th, 2019

Announcements

Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals Reports Inducement Grants under NASDAQ Marketplace Rule 5635(c)(4) June 22nd, 2019

Ice lithography: opportunities and challenges in 3D nanofabrication June 21st, 2019

Researchers report new understanding of thermoelectric materials: Discovery leads to promising new materials for converting waste heat to power June 21st, 2019

Millions with neurological diseases could find new option in implantable neurostimulation devices June 21st, 2019

Interviews/Book Reviews/Essays/Reports/Podcasts/Journals/White papers

'Nanoemulsion' gels offer new way to deliver drugs through the skin: Novel materials made with FDA-approved components could deliver large payloads of active ingredients June 21st, 2019

Next-gen solar cells spin in new direction: Phosphorene shows efficiency promise June 21st, 2019

Ice lithography: opportunities and challenges in 3D nanofabrication June 21st, 2019

Electron-behaving nanoparticles rock current understanding of matter: Discovery will lead to new methods for materials design June 20th, 2019

Environment

Good vibrations: Using piezoelectricity to ensure hydrogen sensor sensitivity May 24th, 2019

New surface treatment could improve refrigeration efficiency: A slippery surface for liquids with very low surface tension promotes droplet formation, facilitating heat transfer May 17th, 2019

Better microring sensors for optical applications May 10th, 2019

Transforming waste heat into clean energy: Researchers use supercomputers to explore new materials for thermoelectric generation May 2nd, 2019

Safety-Nanoparticles/Risk management

Spectradyne Partners with Particle Technology Labs for Measurement Services December 6th, 2018

Study provides insight into how nanoparticles interact with biological systems: Findings can help scientists engineer nanoparticles that are ‘benign by design’ October 18th, 2018

TUBALL single wall carbon nanotubes: No ecotoxicity found, unlike other carbon nanotubes October 12th, 2018

Silver nanoparticles are toxic for aquatic organisms: A research team at the UPV/EHU-University of the Basque Country has analysed how zebrafish are affected in the long term by exposure to silver particles September 19th, 2018

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE



  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project