Question:What do I do with microplastics after being collected?

by lukoyedith | April 13, 2021 13:01 | #26221

Interested in cleaning up the ocean from plastic pollution.


There are commercial plastic recyclers. Please contact them for details. And my experience is in industry, not environmental. But... To get the most money for recycling,plastic needs to be uniform. That is, the same color, the same size, the same material ( pvc,pe,pp,etc.), And as pure as possible. The microplastics will be low in all areas, meaning low cash and difficulty using them in industry.

There are marks on plastic bottles( the weird triangles with number in the middle) that identify the plastic. By separating the plastics(PE,PP,PVC, etc.),the price could increase. That approach is not viable with microplastics. However, IR or NIR might be a way to identify even microplastics ( at additional cost).

Another possibility would be to take the plastics and depolymerize them. Basically, take them back to oil. But it isn't that easy. There are many additives to the plastics that make this approach difficult.

And this is after all the steps needed to remove the plastic from the water or soil.

Hopefully, someone else has better information. Good luck.

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The IR listed above stands for Infra-Red spectroscopy. It might also be FTIR ( Fourier Transform Infra Red spectrscopy). The NIR is short for Near Infra Red spectroscopy.

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