The effects of hydrogen and oil to electromagnetically charged ferromagnetic and non-ferromagnetic materials to enhance the removal of micro-plastics from water

By: Preston W.
Year: 2000
School: Stratford Schools – Mission Viejo, 7th grade
Advisor: Mrs. Rydzeski

Globally, microplastic pollution is a challenging issue that every continent faces. Microplastics are small fragments of plastics between 0.05-5mm in size that are destroyingoceanic lives, environments, and eco-systems, as reported by U.S. National Oceanic andAtmospheric Administration (NOAA). One of today’s challenges is to capture these small plastic fragments before it enters the ocean or possibly capture them to prevent further damages to theenvironment.

In this experiment, parameters are expanded to use hydrogen and oil to determine the effects to strong ferromagnetic materials (Iron filing), weak ferromagnetic materials (Carbon from spinach), and non-ferromagnetic materials (Tea leaves, Activated carbon from Brita) to remove PET microplastics from water. Two sets of controls were placed which were electromagnetically charged, resulting with 3% and 5% removal rates for non-oil and oil, respectively.

For each material, there were four different parameters, hydrogen exposed, oilhydrogen exposed, non-hydrogen exposed, and oil non-hydrogen exposed. For all parameters, materials were charged with electromagnet for thirty minutes and re-charged with microplastic mixture for thirty minutes. For the parameters of oil, 20ml of oil was mixed after the electromagnet charges. A magnet was used to remove the microplastics after the electromagnet charges.

For the parameters of hydrogen exposures, electrolysis was used to expose the materialson the cathode side with hydrogen for 1 hour. A magnet was used on electrolysis to increase thehydrogen production. ​The experiment result showed that hydrogen exposed materials removed greater amounts of microplastics than non-hydrogen exposed materials. Hydrogen exposed activated carbon from Brita removed the greatest percentage of microplastics at 69% removalrate with 1% standard deviation. It also has a high potential for building the filtration system as itcan almost be completely separated (less than 1%) in water from the microplastics whilemicroplastics are being magnetic to the magnet. Tea leaves had the most effect from hydrogenexposure among all the materials tested. Surface areas of the materials were irrelevant. The oilusages did not aid any significant enhancement to removal. ​The result also suggested thathydrogen exposures do not affect the strong ferromagnetic materials, and the material usedshould not possess very strong ferromagnetism, rather it should have a weak or noferromagnetism.