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Erosion as a possible mechanism for the decrease of size of plastic pieces floating in oceans.

Authors
  • Resmeriță, Ana-Maria1
  • Coroaba, Adina1
  • Darie, Raluca1
  • Doroftei, Florica1
  • Spiridon, Iuliana1
  • Simionescu, Bogdan C1
  • Navard, Patrick2
  • 1 'Petru Poni' Institute of Macromolecular Chemistry, 41A Ghica Voda Alley, 700487 Iași, Romania. , (Oman)
  • 2 MINES ParisTech, PSL Research University, CEMEF(1) - Centre de Mise en Forme des Matériaux, CNRS UMR 7635, CS 10207 rue Claude Daunesse, 06904 Sophia Antipolis Cedex, France. Electronic address: [email protected] , (France)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Marine pollution bulletin
Publication Date
Feb 01, 2018
Volume
127
Pages
387–395
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2017.12.025
PMID: 29475675
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

A sea water wave tank fitted in an artificial UV light weathering chamber was built to study the behaviour of polypropylene (PP) injected pieces in close ocean-like conditions. In air, the same pieces sees a degradation in the bulk with a decrease of mechanical properties, a little change of crystal properties and nearly no change of surface chemistry. Weathering in the sea water wave tank shows only a surface changes, with no effect on crystals or mechanical properties with loss of small pieces of matter in the sub-micron range and a change of surface chemistry. This suggests an erosion dispersion mechanism. Such mechanism could explain why no particle smaller than about one millimeter is found when collecting plastic debris at sea: there are much smaller, eroded from plastic surfaces by a mechano-chemical process similar to the erosion mechanism found in the dispersion of agglomerate under flow. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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