3D printer waste, a new source of nanoplastic pollutants

Catégorie : Détection & Caractérisation
Date :8 janvier 2021
Rodriguez-Hernandez, A. G.; Chiodoni, Angelica; Bocchini, Sergio; Vazquez-Duhalt, Rafael.
Environmental Pollution : 267
Plastics pollution has been recognized as a serious environmental problem. Nevertheless, new plastic uses, and applications are still increasing. Among these new applications, three-dimensional resin printers have increased their use and popularity around the world showing a vertiginous annual-sales growth. However, this technology is also the origin of residues generation from the alcohol cleaning procedure at the end of each printing. This alcohol/resin mixture can originate unintentionally very small plastic particles that usually are not correctly disposed, and as consequence, could be easily released to the environment. In this work, the nanoparticle generation from 3D printer’s cleaning procedure and their physicochemical characterization is reported. Nano-sized plastic particles are easily formed when the resin residues are dissolved in alcohol and placed under UV radiation from sunlight. These nano particles can agglomerate in seawater showing an average hydrodynamic diameter around 1 mm, whereas the same nanoparticles remain dispersed in ultrapure water, showing a hydrodynamic diameter of Z30 0 nm. The formed nanoparticles showed an isoelectric point close to pH 2, which can facilitate their interaction with other positively charged pollutants. Thus, these unexpected plastic nanoparticles can become an environmental issue and public health risk.