Pollution Solution: New Device Can Capture 99.9% of Microplastics in Water Using Wood Dust

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UBC’s BioProducts Institute develops a plant-based filter, 'bioCap,' that can capture nearly 99.9% of microplastic particles in water, offering a scalable and sustainable solution to microplastic pollution. Could plants offer a solution to the looming threat of microplastic pollution? Scientists

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that more than 10 billion tons of mismanaged plastic waste will be dispersed in the environment by 2025.

UBC postdoctoral researcher Dr. TianyuGuo is holding two water samples showing treated (left) versus untreated water(right). She is part of a team that developed a wood dust-based filter for removing microplastics from water. Credit: UBC Forestry/Jillian van der GeestIn their research, the team analyzed microparticles shed from widely-used tea bags made of polypropylene. They observed that their technique, termed “bioCap,” captured between 95.2 percent and a staggering 99.

“There are microfibres from clothing, microbeads from cleansers and soaps, and foams and pellets from utensils, containers, and packaging. By taking advantage of the different molecular interactions around tannic acids, our bioCap solution was able to remove virtually all of these different microplastic types.”

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