THIS STUDY HAS BEEN IMPLEMENTED BY JULIEN GIGAULT (CNRS BORDEAUX), BORIS PEDRONO (CORDOUAN TECHNOLOGIES), BENOIT MAXIT (CORDOUAN TECHNOLOGIES) AND ALEXANDRA TER-HALLE (CNRS IMRCP TOULOUSE).
Cordouan Technologies’ collaboration with the researchers from the team « Expedition 7th Continent » has allowed, for the very first time, to present the undeniable evidence of nano-plastic occurrence due to solar light degradation of marine micro-plastics under controlled and environmentally representative conditions. This study led to the first scientific article on this topic: Marine plastic litters: the unanalyzed nano-fraction, published in the revue Environmental Science: Nano, of the « Royal Society of Chemistry ».
As observed during the recent expedition of “Expedition 7thContinent”, plastic pollution will be one of the most challenging ecological threats for the next generation. Up to now, all studies have focused on the environmental and the economic impact of millimeter scale plastics. These plastics can be visualized, collected and studied. We are not aware of any studies reporting the possibilities of nano-plastics in marine water.
Here, we developed for the first time a new solar reactor equipped with an in situ nanoparticle size analyzer VASCO FLEX1 detector to investigate the possibility of the formation of nano-plastics from millimeter scale plastics. With this system, correlated with the LVEM51 electronic microscopy observations, we identified for the first time the presence of plastics at the nano-scale in water due to UV degradation.
1 – Manufactured and/or marketed in France by Cordouan Technologies