Institute of Plastics and Circular Economy Institute News
ERDF grant of over 2 million euros enables new research on aquatic degradability of plastics

ERDF grant of over 2 million euros enables new research on aquatic degradability of plastics

© Naja Bertolt Jensen

These funds will realize the construction and technical equipment of a multi-scale, flexible testing laboratory in order to comprehensively investigate the persistence as well as the degradation behavior of plastics in water for the first time.

Within the SkalAb project "Multi-scale analysis of aquatic degradation mechanisms of polymeric materials", micro- and mesocosms will be constructed that reflect the natural environmental conditions of aquatic ecosystems. Investigations of the degradation behavior and the dominating degradation mechanisms as a function of environmental parameters, such as salinity, oxygen availability, wave motion or temperature, will thus be carried out for a wide variety of materials under realistic environmental conditions. The degradation processes are analyzed in detail on a chemical and morphological level and the degradation products in the aqueous system are also determined.

With the assistance of the advanced analytical methods, the basis is being laid for the first time for comprehensive systematic research into the relationships between the degradation kinetics and the material and environmental parameters, as well as the degradation mechanisms and the possibly resulting degradation products, as part of current and future research projects at IKK. The results will be used, for instance, to develop adapted or novel polymer materials with advantageous degradation properties for applications with unavoidable entry into the environment.

This project was made possible by financial support from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the Union''s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Here you can find more background information about the project.