Boiling removes up to 90% of small and large microplastic particles from the water

 Boiling removes up to 90% of small and large microplastic particles from the water

Chinese researchers have found that simply boiling hard water leads to the removal of 80% to 90% of small and large microplastic particles from it, which occurs due to their deposition on the bottom and walls of vessels along with scale. The results of the scientists’ experiments were published in an article in the scientific journal Environmental Science & Technology Letters, reports TASS.

“We found out that boiling water with a high level of hardness leads to the disappearance of at least 80% of nano and microparticles of polystyrene, polyethylene and polypropylene, whose size ranges from 0.1 to 150 microns. High temperatures contribute to the formation of calcium carbonate on these particles, which leads to their deposition on the walls of vessels in the form of scale,” the researchers write.

The discovery was made by a group of scientists led by Professor Eddie Tseng of Jinan University while studying how boiling water affects the properties of nanoparticles and microparticles of plastic present in it. According to scientists, the tradition of boiling drinking water is common in many countries of East Asia, which led researchers to study the effect of boiling on plastic, particles of which were detected in tap water samples collected in 14 countries around the world.

To obtain such information, scientists prepared micro- and nanoparticles of various sizes and shapes made of polystyrene, polyethylene and polypropylene, after which they added them to samples of soft and hard tap water supplied to homes in the city of Guanzhou. Each such sample was boiled in kettles, after which scientists studied the composition of water and scale on their walls.

These experiments have shown that boiling allows you to remove a significant proportion of microparticles of plastic of all sizes from the water. The effectiveness of this procedure depends on the hardness of the water – about 25% of plastic particles are deposited in soft water, whereas in hard water their concentration decreases by 80-90%.

Such experimental results, according to Chinese researchers, suggest that boiling can become the basis for creating inexpensive and fast methods of purifying drinking water from plastic pollution. This is especially true for those countries, including Western European countries, where it is customary to drink tap water in its raw form.

In recent decades, scientists have discovered huge amounts of plastic debris and microplastics not only in rivers and lakes, but also in many remote regions of the world’s oceans, where giant “garbage spots” have appeared. Plastic debris particles were recently found at the bottom of the Mariana Trench and at the top of Mount Everest, where they were carried by wind, precipitation and deep currents.


Photo: Getty/Ryersonclark

Orient Link:

Scroll to Top