Bio-degradation of plastic debris in the marine environment: Any hope for clean oceans?Export this event to calendar

Friday, June 2, 2017 — 1:30 PM EDT

Seminar by Professor Nicolas Kalogerakis

Professor Kalogerakis

Nicolas Kalogerakis is a Professor of Biochemical Engineering and Vice-President of the University Council at the Technical University of Crete. Prior to that he was a Professor at SUNY-Buffalo (USA) and at the Univ. of Calgary (Canada). He holds a Diploma in Chemical Engineering from NTUA (Athens), a Masters from McGill University and a PhD from the Univ. of Toronto. His area of expertise includes environmental biotechnology focusing on bioremediation and phytoremediation technologies for the restoration of contaminated sites; protection and restoration of the marine environment; novel oxygenation systems and wastewater treatment; and mathematical modeling of environmental processes. Currently his group is participating in 4 EU funded research projects (two FP7 & two H2020) and he is the coordinator of the FP7-project KILL*SPILL. Prof. Kalogerakis’ publication record includes four patents, one book, 170 papers in referred journals and more than 150 presentations at international conferences. He has more than 6300 citations (Scopus) with a H-index of 42. He has served as a member of the EC Environment Committee and as sherpa in the EC, High Level Group on Key Enabling Technologies (2013-2015).Univ. of Calgary (Canada). He holds a Diploma in Chemical Engineering from NTUA (Athens), a Masters from McGill University and a PhD from the Univ. of Toronto. His area of expertise includes environmental biotechnology focusing on bioremediation and phytoremediation technologies for the restoration of contaminated sites; protection and restoration of the marine environment; novel oxygenation systems and wastewater treatment; and mathematical modeling of environmental processes. Currently his group is participating in 4 EU funded research projects (two FP7 & two H2020) and he is the coordinator of the FP7-project KILL*SPILL. Prof. Kalogerakis’ publication record includes four patents, one book, 170 papers in referred journals and more than 150 presentations at international conferences. He has more than 6300 citations (Scopus) with a H-index of 42. He has served as a member of the EC Environment Committee and as sherpa in the EC, High Level Group on Key Enabling Technologies (2013-2015).

Abstract

Plastic debris represents a significant problem among the various pollution problems facing the marine environment. Several studies have been conducted on the fate and weathering of plastics in the marine environment including the generation and fate of microplastics. Laboratory results on the biodegradation of plastics show great variability. An important question, which remains unanswered, is what is the level of weathering (measured as cumulative luminance exposure) that makes the plastic biodegradable at a reasonably fast rate. In this presentation we focus on the determination of biodegradation and fragmentation rates of PS and PE films naturally weathered on beach sand as well as films weathered while floating in seawater. The results are very encouraging pointing to new challenges that need to be addressed for the successful biodegradation of plastics in the marine environment. Furthermore, the most effective mitigation measures and plastic debris removal technologies from the marine environment will be presented

Location 
E6 - Engineering 6
4022
200 University Ave West

Waterloo, ON N2L 3G1
Canada

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