Scientists can now remove nanoplastics from our water with 94% efficiency

University of Waterloo researchers have created a new technology that can remove harmful nanoplastics from contaminated water with 94% efficiency. The study, "Utilization of epoxy thermoset waste to produce activated carbon for the remediation of nano-plastic contaminated wastewater," was published in the journal Separation and Purification Technology.

The amount of plastic pollution in our ecosystem has become an increasingly alarming concern globally. Concerns have frequently been flagged about the impact that  has on the toxicity to the environment and humans.

The impact of nanoplastics, material that is a thousand times smaller than microplastics, has been found to have a significant detrimental effect on aquatic and human life. However, the options that can eliminate nanoplastics from oceans and lakes are limited.

A team of researchers led by Waterloo Chemical Engineering professor Tizazu Mekonnen, who specialize in , tackled a new method to address small plastic waste and remove nanoplastics from wastewater systems.

"Rationally designed plastics not only can be part of the solution to reduce climate change but can have a positive impact in economic development and create jobs," Mekonnen said. "This technology has the potential to significantly reduce the carbon footprint of the plastics industry."

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