Developing Sustainable and Closed loop Solutions to Reduce Synthetic Fibers, Microplastics, and Nanoplastics Leakage from Laundry Systems into the Marine Environment

Lead PI: Beizhan Yan , Dr. Joaquim I Goes , Dr. Thanos Bourtsalas , Wei Min, Nicholas Frearson

Unit Affiliation: Geochemistry, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory (LDEO)

April 2023 - March 2027
Active
North America ; United States
Project Type: Research

DESCRIPTION: The overarching goal of this study is to plug the leak of microplastics and nanoplastics (< 1μm) into our marine environments from domestic and commercial laundries through the development of closed-loop solutions that utilize advanced hollow fiber ultrafiltration techniques and novel methods for reusing the filtered materials. Advancements in separating synthetic fibers and microplastics from clothing and identifying them based on their chemical composition will allow us to test enzymatic methods for converting plastic polymers waste from laundering of clothes into oligomers and monomers that can be reutilized.

SPONSOR:

New York Sea Grant

ORIGINATING SPONSOR:

National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration/Department of Commerce

FUNDED AMOUNT:

$1,428,452

COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY COLLABORATORS:

Department of Earth and Environmental Engineering, Department of Chemistry