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CHEMICAL CHARACTERIZATION OF NANOPLASTIC PARTICLES FORMED IN AIRBORNE WASTE DISCHARGED FROM SEWER PIPE REPAIRS

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posted on 2023-04-22, 22:34 authored by Brianna Nicole PetersonBrianna Nicole Peterson

 Micro- and nanoplastic (MNP ) particles are an increasing environmental concern related to the widespread uncontrolled degradation of various commercial products made of plastic materials and their associated waste disposal. Most frequently MNP particles are documented as pollutants in terrestrial, aquatic, and marine environments. Reports of MNP detected in snow samples from mountain glaciers in remote locations suggest their atmospheric transport. Recently, common technology used to repair sewer pipes was reported as one of the direct emission sources of airborne MNP in urban areas. This research reports on the multi-modal detailed chemical characterization of the MNP particles related to waste discharged in the repair process and compares MNP composition with the components of uncured resin and cured plastic material used in the process. Comprehensive analysis of these materials employed complementary use of surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy, scanning transmission x-ray spectro-microscopy, single particle laser ablation time-of-flight mass spectrometry, and direct analysis in real-time high-resolution mass spectrometry. It is shown that the composition of the relatively large MP particles resembles components of plastic material used in the process. In contrast, composition of the NP particles is significantly different, suggesting their formation from unintended polymerization of water-soluble components occurring in drying droplets of the air-discharged waste. Results are further discussed to guide the detection and advanced characterization of NP particles in future field studies. 

History

Degree Type

  • Master of Science

Department

  • Chemistry

Campus location

  • West Lafayette

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

Alexander Laskin

Additional Committee Member 2

Chi Zhang

Additional Committee Member 3

Scott McLuckey

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