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Sweden: Removal of Microplastic The Sun May Help to Get Rid of Plastics in Wastewater

| Editor: Alexander Stark

Harnessing the Sun’s radiation to help rid the oceans of microplastic contamination is one of several technical innovations to be developed by a new EU-funded project.

These nano scale wires are made with a semiconductor material that can speed up the process of photocatalytic oxidation, which breaks down plastic molecules.
These nano scale wires are made with a semiconductor material that can speed up the process of photocatalytic oxidation, which breaks down plastic molecules.
(Source: courtesy of Joydeep Dutta)

Stockholm/Sweden — Beginning in November 2017, a system developed at KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden for breaking down microplastics from personal care products will be tested for implementation in homes and wastewater treatment plants.

While exposure to sunlight can degrade plastics into harmless elements, it’s a slow process. In some cases plastics can take several years to decompose. Joydeep Dutta, chair of the Functional Materials division at KTH, says this system will speed up that process by making more efficient use of available visible light and ultraviolet rays from the Sun.