Systematic characterization of sorption behavior of microplastic particles (master thesis project)

Every year, millions of tons of plastic waste are produced out of which 10% have been estimated to end-up in the world’s oceans. Recently, there have been several studies investigating the occurrence of presence of microscopic fragments of plastics (MP) in marine systems. While the majority of studies has investigated their concentrations in beach sands, it was additionally reported that MP contaminations were found in deep sea sediments. As a consequence, the environmental effects of MP have been indicated as an area of concern among scientist and regulators. Aside from the “direct” impact of these  materials on environmental ecosystems resulting from entanglement or ingestion, they have previously been reported to be a potential transport medium for toxic contaminants in environmental systems. Hence, understanding the interactions between microplastics and organic contaminants is of crucial importance not only from a risk assessment perspective. This project aims at a systematic characterization of sorption behavior of MP.

Supervisor: Thilo Hofmann
Post-Doc: Thosten Hüffer
Ph.D. Student:
Reza Katal
Student: Veronika Turewicz

Contact : University of Vienna, Environmental Geosciences Department


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