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Heteroaggregation of PS microplastic with ferrihydrite leads to rapid removal of microplastic particles from the water column

Title data

Schmidtmann, Johanna ; Elagami, Hassan ; Gilfedder, Benjamin Silas ; Fleckenstein, Jan ; Papastavrou, Georg ; Mansfeld, Ulrich ; Peiffer, Stefan:
Heteroaggregation of PS microplastic with ferrihydrite leads to rapid removal of microplastic particles from the water column.
In: Environmental Science : Processes & Impacts. (24 August 2022) .
ISSN 2050-7895
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1039/D2EM00207H

Official URL: Volltext

Project information

Project title:
Project's official titleProject's id
SFB 1357 MikroplastikSFB1357

Project financing: Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft

Abstract in another language

Microplastic (MP) particles are ubiquitous in aquatic environments. Therefore, understanding the processes that affect their removal from the water column, such as sedimentation, is critical for evaluating the risk they pose to aquatic ecosystems. We performed sedimentation experiments in which polystyrene (PS) and PS + ferrihydrite, a short-range ordered ferric (oxy)hydroxide, were analyzed in settling columns after 1 day and 1 week of settling time. The presence of ferrihydrite increased sedimentation rates of PS at all pH values studied (pH 3–11). At pH 6 we found that almost all PS particles were removed from the water column after only one day of exposure time. SEM/EDS imaging confirmed heteroaggregation between the PS particles and ferrihydrite. Zeta potential measurements indicated that at acidic pH values the negatively charged PS surface was coated with positively charged ferrihydrite particles leading to charge reversal. Our results demonstrate for the first time that ferric (oxy)hydroxides drive heteroaggregation and subsequent removal of MP from the water column, especially at typical pH values found in natural lake environments. Given their abundance in aquatic systems ferric (oxy)hydroxides need to be regarded as key scavengers of MP.

Further data

Item Type: Article in a journal
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: microplastic; aggregation; sedimentation; microplastic removal; polystyrene; ferrihydrite; iron oxyhydroxides
Institutions of the University: Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Chemistry > Chair Physical Chemistry II > Chair Physical Chemistry II - Univ.-Prof. Dr. Georg Papastavrou
Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Earth Sciences > Chair Hydrology
Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Earth Sciences > Professor Hydrological Modelling
Research Institutions > Research Centres > Bayreuth Center of Ecology and Environmental Research- BayCEER
Research Institutions > Research Units > Limnological Research Station
Research Institutions > Affiliated Institutes > Bavarian Polymer Institute (BPI)
Research Institutions > Collaborative Research Centers, Research Unit > SFB 1357 - MIKROPLASTIK
Faculties
Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences
Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Chemistry
Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Chemistry > Chair Physical Chemistry II
Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Earth Sciences
Research Institutions
Research Institutions > Research Centres
Research Institutions > Research Units
Research Institutions > Affiliated Institutes
Research Institutions > Collaborative Research Centers, Research Unit
Result of work at the UBT: Yes
DDC Subjects: 500 Science > 540 Chemistry
500 Science > 550 Earth sciences, geology
Date Deposited: 26 Aug 2022 07:30
Last Modified: 26 Aug 2022 07:30
URI: https://eref.uni-bayreuth.de/id/eprint/71681