"Environment" research area

Microplastic Pollution from Paint

Primary Investigator - Lee PennPrimary Investigator Lee Penn
Co-InvestigatorsNA
Industry Partners: NA
Award Type: Seed Grant - Undergraduate Research Scholar

Summary: Paint chips are a significant source of aquatic microplastics (MPs) and yet, little work has been done studying how they degrade in the environment and how degradation may facilitate the release of contaminants of concern (COCs). We propose to irradiate paint chips with UV light in order to study the release of MPs and other COCs into the surrounding water. We hypothesize that paint chips containing higher levels of titanium dioxide (TiO2), a photocatalytic material commonly found in paints, will degrade more rapidly upon UV exposure. Results will enable an assessment of the viability of TiO2-catalyzed photodegradation as a remediation strategy for paint chips found in the environment.