MORE | Spring 2022

Elucidating the Role of Ultraviolet Weathering and Biofilm Formation on the Adsorption of Micropollutants onto Microplastics

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When released into the environment, plastics undergo mechanical abrasion and ultraviolet (UV) exposure that leads to the formation of microplastics. These microplastics, when present as a mixture with other contaminants, may interact with each other, thus, exhibiting high toxicity. Such interactions may be altered due to UV aging and biological surface weathering of these microplastics, raising a question as to how contaminant-microplastic interactions will evolve as microplastics are altered by biotic and abiotic factors in the environment. Our research focuses on understanding the complex interplay between surface weathering of microplastics and contaminant adsorption to assess the environmental risks posed by microplastic pollution.

Student researcher

Kartik Bhagat

Kartik Bhagat

Civil, environmental and sustainable engineering

Hometown: Chandigarh, Chandigarh, India

Graduation date: Spring 2022