One-step polymerization method could shed more light on plastic pollution

A ground-breaking method to label and track manufactured nano-plastics could signal a paradigm shift in how we understand and care for environments, finds a new study.

Nano-plastics are particles of at least one dimension below one μm. While there has been growing awareness of the dangers of visible plastic pollution to marine life, nano-plastics are thought to be even more dangerous as unseen, smaller animals and fish can ingest them.

Nano-plastics are suspected of being released into the environment directly by commercial products and by the breakdown of larger pieces of plastic litter.

In a study published by the journal Communications Materials, researchers from the University of Surrey detail a new one-step polymerization method to label nano-polystyrene directly on the carbon backbone of plastic.

The new simple method uses 14C-styrene and requires minimal reagents and equipment to create nano-particles in a wide range of sizes for use in simulated lab environments.

The team has used their new method to produce and investigate the behaviour of nano-plastics at low concentrations in a variety of scenarios - including in bivalve mollusc.

Dr Maya Al Sid Cheikh, co-author of the study and Lecturer in Analytical Chemistry at the University of Surrey, said:

"The truth is that the scientific community knows little about the effects and behaviour of nano-plastics in our environment because it's extraordinarily difficult to detect, track and measure such minute particles.

Our new, simple method is a step in the right direction for correcting this knowledge gap as it allows researchers to replicate scenarios in which commercially produced nano-particles have customarily gone unnoticed."

Dr Maya Al Sid Cheikh, Study Co-Author oand Lecturer in Analytical Chemistry, University of Surrey

Source:
Journal reference:

Al-Sid-Cheikh, M., et al. (2020) Synthesis of 14C-labelled polystyrene nanoplastics for environmental studies. Communications Materials. doi.org/10.1038/s43246-020-00097-9.

Citations

Please use one of the following formats to cite this article in your essay, paper or report:

  • APA

    University of Surrey. (2022, November 16). One-step polymerization method could shed more light on plastic pollution. AZoLifeSciences. Retrieved on May 27, 2024 from https://www.azolifesciences.com/news/20201211/One-step-polymerization-method-could-shed-more-light-on-plastic-pollution.aspx.

  • MLA

    University of Surrey. "One-step polymerization method could shed more light on plastic pollution". AZoLifeSciences. 27 May 2024. <https://www.azolifesciences.com/news/20201211/One-step-polymerization-method-could-shed-more-light-on-plastic-pollution.aspx>.

  • Chicago

    University of Surrey. "One-step polymerization method could shed more light on plastic pollution". AZoLifeSciences. https://www.azolifesciences.com/news/20201211/One-step-polymerization-method-could-shed-more-light-on-plastic-pollution.aspx. (accessed May 27, 2024).

  • Harvard

    University of Surrey. 2022. One-step polymerization method could shed more light on plastic pollution. AZoLifeSciences, viewed 27 May 2024, https://www.azolifesciences.com/news/20201211/One-step-polymerization-method-could-shed-more-light-on-plastic-pollution.aspx.

Comments

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of AZoLifeSciences.
Post a new comment
Post

While we only use edited and approved content for Azthena answers, it may on occasions provide incorrect responses. Please confirm any data provided with the related suppliers or authors. We do not provide medical advice, if you search for medical information you must always consult a medical professional before acting on any information provided.

Your questions, but not your email details will be shared with OpenAI and retained for 30 days in accordance with their privacy principles.

Please do not ask questions that use sensitive or confidential information.

Read the full Terms & Conditions.

You might also like...
People with diabetes and sleep problems have increased risk of mortality