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New solution to capture microplastics before they enter waterways

A thousand liters of seawater can contain up to 8.3 million particles of microplastics. Until now, identifying these very small particles has been difficult—usually they are only detected once they have accumulated in the bodies of fish. A method developed at VTT utilizes nanocellulose structures for early particle identification. Nanocellulose would allow particles to be captured even before they enter waterways. The properties of nanocellulose films and hydrogels support the identification and capture of very small microplastic particles. "Nanocellulose has a mesh-like, porous structure and a large BET surface area. In the water, powerful capillary forces are generated in this structure, allowing particles to be transported inside the mesh and bound there," says Research Professor Tekla Tammelin from VTT.  Read more.....



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