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Journal Articles

Tracking the behavior and characteristics of microplastics using a multi-analytical approach; A Case study in two contrasting coastal areas of Japan

Battulga, B.; Atarashi-Andoh, Mariko; Matsueda, Makoto; Koarashi, Jun

Environmental Science and Pollution Research, 30(31), p.77226 - 77237, 2023/05

 Times Cited Count:0 Percentile:0(Environmental Sciences)

The global survey for the presence of microplastics (MPs) in aquatic environments has attracted widespread scientific attention over the past decade. This study demonstrates a multidimensional analytical approach, including isotopic and thermogravimetric analyses to evaluate characteristics and behavior of MPs in the environment. The MP samples were collected in two contrasting coastal areas of Japan. The $$delta$$$$^{13}$$C values of field-collected polyethylene (PE), polypropylene (PP), and polystyrene (PS) MPs were ranged from -25.6 to -31.4, -23.4 to -30.9, and -27.3 to -28.6 per mil, respectively. The differences in $$delta$$$$^{13}$$C signature between MPs with the same polymer types (i.e., PE and PP) but different colors. Through thermal analysis, the single-step endothermic process was observed for environmental PE and PS-MPs. The results reveal that degradation may play a significant role in the behavior and characteristics of MP debris in the aquatic environment.

Oral presentation

Characterizations of formed biofilms and microbial communities on microplastics in coastal rivers of Japan

Battulga, B.; Nakayama, Masataka; Atarashi-Andoh, Mariko; Koarashi, Jun

no journal, , 

Plastic debris in the aquatic environment has become a growing concern due to their long-term ecological consequences. The current study is focused on microbial community composition on microplastics (MPs; sizes $$<$$5 mm) and characteristics of MP-associated biofilms in coastal river environments of Japan in order to understand the impact of MP-associated biofilms on aquatic organic matter cycling. The aims of the current study are i) extraction and characterization of microbial biofilms on MPs and ii) identification of diversity and composition of microbial communities on MP surfaces and in surrounding surface waters and sediments. The samples were collected from two coastal rivers during 2021-2022 on a seasonal basis. In this study, we proposed a new method to extract biofilms from MPs using ultrasound-assisted syringe treatment for isotopic analysis. Morphotypes of MPs and associated specific microbial taxa as well as seasonal differences were also observed.

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