Microplastics and nanoplastics represent one of the major environmental issues nowadays due to their ubiquitous presence on Earth, and their high potential danger for living systems, ecosystems, and human life. The formation of both microplastics and nanoplastics strongly depends on both the type of pristine materials and the degradation processes related to biological and/or abiotic conditions. The aim of this study is to investigate the effect of two of the most relevant abiotic parameters, namely temperature and light, taken under direct control by using a Solar box, on five types of reference polymers: high density polyethylene (HDPE), low density polyethylene (LDPE), polypropylene (PP), polystyrene (PS), and polyethylene terephthalate (PET). A multi-analytical approach was adopted to investigate in detail the first steps of plastics degradation. Samples of plastic materials at different degradation times were analyzed by means of 1H NMR spectroscopy and thermal desorption gas chromatography mass spectrometry (TD-GC-MS) technique. Several minor molecular species released during degradation were consistently identified by both techniques thus providing a comprehensive view of the various degradation products of these five types of microplastics.

Multi-Analytical Approach to Characterize the Degradation of Different Types of Microplastics: Identification and Quantification of Released Organic Compounds

Cifelli, Mario
Investigation
;
Biagini, Denise
Investigation
;
Ghimenti, Silvia
Investigation
;
Corti, Andrea;Castelvetro, Valter
Membro del Collaboration Group
;
Domenici, Valentina
Penultimo
Writing – Review & Editing
;
Lomonaco, Tommaso
Ultimo
Writing – Review & Editing
2023-01-01

Abstract

Microplastics and nanoplastics represent one of the major environmental issues nowadays due to their ubiquitous presence on Earth, and their high potential danger for living systems, ecosystems, and human life. The formation of both microplastics and nanoplastics strongly depends on both the type of pristine materials and the degradation processes related to biological and/or abiotic conditions. The aim of this study is to investigate the effect of two of the most relevant abiotic parameters, namely temperature and light, taken under direct control by using a Solar box, on five types of reference polymers: high density polyethylene (HDPE), low density polyethylene (LDPE), polypropylene (PP), polystyrene (PS), and polyethylene terephthalate (PET). A multi-analytical approach was adopted to investigate in detail the first steps of plastics degradation. Samples of plastic materials at different degradation times were analyzed by means of 1H NMR spectroscopy and thermal desorption gas chromatography mass spectrometry (TD-GC-MS) technique. Several minor molecular species released during degradation were consistently identified by both techniques thus providing a comprehensive view of the various degradation products of these five types of microplastics.
2023
Giaganini, Giulia; Cifelli, Mario; Biagini, Denise; Ghimenti, Silvia; Corti, Andrea; Castelvetro, Valter; Domenici, Valentina; Lomonaco, Tommaso
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11568/1167545
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