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Influence of thermooxidative degradation on the in situ fate of polyethylene in temperate coastal waters
University of Gothenburg, Sweden.
University of Gothenburg, Sweden.
RISE - Research Institutes of Sweden, Built Environment, Energy and Circular Economy.
2018 (English)In: Marine Pollution Bulletin, ISSN 0025-326X, E-ISSN 1879-3363, Vol. 135, p. 187-194Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Polyethylene is a commonly used polymer in plastic products and is often found as marine litter. Nevertheless there is limited knowledge about what happens to the material when it ends up in the sea. Polyethylene films were therefore thermally oxidised to four different levels of degradation. The films were then placed in stainless-steel cages in the sea off the Swedish west coast for 12 summer weeks. Subsamples were analysed with respect to biofouling, degradation and buoyancy. All levels showed a continued oxidation in the field. The pre-degraded films started fragmenting and the non-degraded films showed a decrease in tensile strain. All levels showed increased biofouling with higher presence of filamentous algae and bryozoans on pre-degraded materials. The density (kg·m−3) of the films was seen to increase slightly, and the apparent density for the pre-degraded films (density of the films with biofilm) showed a strong increase, which resulted in sinking.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. Vol. 135, p. 187-194
Keywords [en]
Fate, FTIR, In situ degradation, Microplastics, Plastic pollution, Weathering
National Category
Natural Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:ri:diva-34361DOI: 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2018.07.015Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85049738270OAI: oai:DiVA.org:ri-34361DiVA, id: diva2:1237173
Note

Funding details: Swedish Environmental Research Council Formas 2014-1146 , and the Interreg project Clean Coastline

Available from: 2018-08-07 Created: 2018-08-07 Last updated: 2018-08-07Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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