In recent years, plastic pollution has become an environmental problem requiring urgent attention. Recently, the release of nano-sized plastics (<1 µm) into the environment has raised concern due to the possible adverse effects that their small size can have on the trophic web. Advanced oxidation processes are efficient at removing organic pollutants such as dyes and pharmaceuticals, making them a viable approach for treating these hazardous materials. This study proposes the use of photocatalysis as an alternative for removing polystyrene nanoparticles (PS-NPs) from aqueous media. A comparative study was carried out to determine the photocatalytic activity of three different TiO2 photocatalysts synthesized by anodization. Elimination and degradation were monitored by turbidimetry, TOC, FTIR, and GC/MS, and the presence of carbonyl groups and intermediate products was recorded to confirm PS-NP degradation. Statistical analysis revealed that PS-NP elimination using TiO2/T and TiO2/M as photocatalysts was more efficient than with photolysis. The results indicate that the mixed structure (nanotubes/nanograss) reduces the concentration of PS-NPs in dispersion 2 times more efficiently than photolysis with UV light does. Despite the challenges posed by nanoplastic contamination, this study provides a useful remediation approach; a technique that, to date, has received little attention.
Degradation of primary nanoplastics by photocatalysis using different anodized TiO2 structures / Dominguez-Jaimes, L. P.; Cedillo-Gonzalez, E. I.; Luevano-Hipolito, E.; Acuna-Bedoya, J. D.; Hernandez-Lopez, J. M.. - In: JOURNAL OF HAZARDOUS MATERIALS. - ISSN 0304-3894. - 413:(2021), pp. 125452-125452. [10.1016/j.jhazmat.2021.125452]