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

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.
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https://hal-mines-paristech.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-01674359
Contributeur : Magalie Prudon <>
Soumis le : mardi 2 janvier 2018 - 14:47:31
Dernière modification le : lundi 12 novembre 2018 - 10:58:31

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Ana-Maria Resmeriță, Adina Coroaba, Raluca Darie, Florica Doroftei, Luliana Spiridon, et al.. Erosion as a possible mechanism for the decrease of size of plastic pieces floating in oceans. Marine Pollution Bulletin, Elsevier, 2018, 127, pp.387 - 395. ⟨10.1016/j.marpolbul.2017.12.025⟩. ⟨hal-01674359⟩

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