Acoustic-assisted removal of microplastics

Project: Research direct

Project Details

Description

Microplastics are tiny, mostly unseen plastic particles with the size between 5mm to 1 micron. These particles come from several sources, including large plastics (e.g. bottles, bags) that break down to smaller pieces and microbeads that are added to cleaning and beauty products. Because of their small size, they can be transported over long distances and eventually end up in the environment (surface water, soil, and air). Clear evidence has shown that many sea organisms and animals, and even we humans are ingesting microplastics. Therefore, it is an urgent to confront the microplastic pollution to protect the environment and human well-being.

In this project, we aim to develop an efficient method to clean microplastics from water with the use of acoustic technology. Under the effect of external acoustic field, the microplastic particles suspended in water will be manipulated to eventually form larger agglomerates (many small particles stick together). These larger agglomerates can then be easily captured and removed by conventional filters. We will investigate this problem via both experiments and numerical modelling.

Funding source: NWO OpenMind

People involved: Chenyue Zhang (C.Zhang2@tue.nl) , Nico Dam (N.J.Dam@tue.nl) , Yali Tang (y.tang2@tue.nl)
StatusActive
Effective start/end date1/01/2131/12/21

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