EGU General Assembly 2022
© Author(s) 2022. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Influence of chemical aging processes on releasing organic products from microplastics

Jagoda Worek, Katarzyna Styszko, and Anna Białas
Jagoda Worek et al.
  • AGH University of Science and Technology, Faculty of Energy and Fuels, Cracow, Poland (

At the end of the 1940s, the production of plastics began on a large scale. Since then, a dynamic increase in their production has been observed. It is associated with a variety of applications and low costs. The negative consequences of the use of polymers and poor disposal are still growing. Microplastic is an important hazard. These are pieces of plastic, the size of which does not exceed 5 mm. Microplastic particles have already been detected all over the world. Increasingly, attention is being paid to their accumulation in the environment. During their stay in ecosystems, they undergo aging processes. Their structure and composition are changing. The washed substances are released into the environment. The aim of the research was to check the effect of artificial aging methods on the leaching of functional groups and changes in the structure of selected polymers. Polystyrene and polyethylene terephthalate were selected for the research. They belong to the most common kind of plastics. For aging, combined methods were used, with irradiation with UV lamp irradiation and hydrogen peroxide. Before and post-aging polymers were analyzed using spectroscopic methods and a microscope. ATR FTIR, Raman confocal microscope and FTIR microscope were used for this purpose. The tests showed leaching of organic products from the samples and the formation of additional  bands. The structure of plastics has changed. These changes show a possible degradation path for plastics with a significant environmental impact.

How to cite: Worek, J., Styszko, K., and Białas, A.: Influence of chemical aging processes on releasing organic products from microplastics, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-4239,, 2022.