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Article

Impact of Chitosan Pretreatment to Reduce Microfibers Released from Synthetic Garments during Laundering

1
Department of Land, Water and Environment Research, Korea Institute of Civil Engineering and Building Technology, Goyang-si 10223, Korea
2
Smart City and Construction Engineering, University of Science and Technology, Deajeon 34113, Korea
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Paolo Tremolada
Water 2021, 13(18), 2480; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13182480
Received: 21 July 2021 / Revised: 31 August 2021 / Accepted: 3 September 2021 / Published: 9 September 2021
Sewage treatment can remove more than 90% of microplastics, yet large amounts of microplastics are discharged into the ocean. Because microfibers (MFs), primarily generated from the washing of synthetic clothes, are the most abundant type of microplastics among various microplastics detected in the sewage treatment, reducing the amount of MFs entering these treatment plants is necessary. This study aimed to test whether the amount of MFs released from the washing process can be reduced by applying a chitosan pretreatment to the garments before washing. Before the chitosan pretreatment, the polyester clothes released 148 MFs/L, whereas 95% of MFs were reduced after the chitosan pretreatment with 0.7% of chitosan solution. The chitosan pretreatment was applied to other types of garments, such as polyamide and acrylic garments, by treating them with 0.7% of chitosan solution; subsequently, MFs reduced by 48% and 49%, respectively. A morphology analysis conducted after washing revealed that chitosan coating on the polyamide and acrylic were more damaged than on polyester, suggesting that the binding strength of polyamide and acrylic with chitosan was weaker than that of polyester garment. Thus, the results suggested that the chitosan pretreatment might be a promising solution for reducing the amount of MFs generated in the laundering process. View Full-Text
Keywords: microplastics; microfiber; laundering; plastic pollution; chitosan pretreatment microplastics; microfiber; laundering; plastic pollution; chitosan pretreatment
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MDPI and ACS Style

Kang, H.; Park, S.; Lee, B.; Ahn, J.; Kim, S. Impact of Chitosan Pretreatment to Reduce Microfibers Released from Synthetic Garments during Laundering. Water 2021, 13, 2480. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13182480

AMA Style

Kang H, Park S, Lee B, Ahn J, Kim S. Impact of Chitosan Pretreatment to Reduce Microfibers Released from Synthetic Garments during Laundering. Water. 2021; 13(18):2480. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13182480

Chicago/Turabian Style

Kang, Heejun, Saerom Park, Bokjin Lee, Jaehwan Ahn, and Seogku Kim. 2021. "Impact of Chitosan Pretreatment to Reduce Microfibers Released from Synthetic Garments during Laundering" Water 13, no. 18: 2480. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13182480

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