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2:32 PM  December 5, 2019

TSU aeroprobe will be used to clean water reservoirs from plastic

© с сайта Томского госуниверситетаTSU aeroprobe will be used to clean water reservoirs from plastic

TOMSK, Dec 5 – RIA Tomsk. The "Aeroprobe" technology, created by Tomsk State University (TSU) biologists to clean the bottom of reservoirs from oil products, will be used to solve the problem of plastic pollution; laboratory tests have proved that the "Aeroprobe" is able to extract plastic particles from bottom sediments, the university’s press service said on Thursday.

It was previously reported that in 2016 scientists of the Biological Institute (BI) of TSU patented an aeroprobe - a device that allows to clean the bottom of oil-contaminated water bodies. The principle of its operation is to supply air under pressure to the bottom of the reservoir, after which the bottom oil "sticks" to the bubbles and rises to the surface. Scientists have already found partners for technology replication in the countries of the European Union and Asia-Pacific.

"Aeroprobe" technology will be used to solve the problem of plastic contamination. The project team has already completed laboratory tests, which confirmed the ability of "Aeroprobe" to extract plastic particles from bottom sediments. In the summer of 2020 the scientific team plans to conduct full-scale natural tests", – is said in the message of the university.

According to the BI TSU, at present, the presence of plastic microparticles is registered not only in places of mass human presence, but also in the most remote territories. During the expedition, professor of BI TSU Alexey Orlov proved that microplastic is found, for example, in the Kara and Chukchi Seas, where it comes from rivers.

The biggest problem, according to scientists, is plastic particles, which are overgrown with biological material, lose buoyancy and fall to the bottom. It is from bottom sediments that microplastic particles enter the body of animals, fish, and subsequently birds. Once entered the digestive system of animals, toxic compounds can cause organ damage and other undesirable effects.

"Laboratory tests carried out on microplastics (particles up to 5 millimeters) showed that the "Aeroprobe" works well with this material (along with petroleum products). Under hydropneumatic action, mineral particles are separated from the plastic, polluting components rise to the surface, after which it is possible to carry out mechanical assembly", – the press service quotes the director of BI TSU Danil Vorobyov.

In the summer of 2020 environmentalists plan to conduct field tests on the lakes of the Tomsk region. The "Aeroprobe" team will pick up plastic from the bottom of reservoirs and conduct hydroecological monitoring. In 2020 is also planned a large-scale experiment to study the effect of synthetic materials on the aquatic fauna.

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