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ISTC Sustainability Seminar Series: What still challenges us to detect microplastics and nanoplastics in the environment?

Event Type
Seminar/Symposium
Sponsor
Illinois Sustainable Technology Center
Virtual
wifi event
Date
Nov 10, 2022   12:00 pm  
Speaker
Wen Zhang, Ph.D., P.E., BCEE - Associate Professor, New Jersey Institute of Technology
Registration
Registration
Views
2
Originating Calendar
iSEE Sustainability Calendar

Microplastics have been identified in many aquatic environments and are considered as sources and transport vectors for toxic chemicals (e.g., heavy metals and POPs) or pathogenic microorganisms. In our research group, we have been investigating the colloidal properties and photochemical aging/weathering of microplastics as well as the release of potentially toxic substances from the weathered microplastics. In this presentation, I will briefly introduce my own microplastic research and primarily focus on the introduction of challenges of microplastics and nanoplastics detection and identification due to their small sizes and interferences from size-dependent and extrinsic factors such as surface contamination or coating by organic matters or additives. I will also give an overview of the latest research results utilizing various novel technologies/techniques for separation from environmental media (e.g., water or soil) and characterization. I will also introduce a few recent studies that demonstrated the use of scanning probe microscope, AFM combined with IR/Raman, sequential pyrolysis (Pyr-GC/MS), and thermal desorption pyrolysis (TD-Pyr-GC/MS) for ultrafine plastics particle analysis.

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