Lignin derived hydrophobic deep eutectic solvents for the extraction of nanoplastics from water

Yuxuan Zhang, Jameson R. Hunter, Ahamed Ullah, Qing Shao, Jian Shi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


As a growing concern in aqueous systems, micro- and nano-plastics, especially nanoplastics (NPs), have been widely detected in the environment and organisms, posing a potential threat to ecosystems and human health. Hydrophobic deep eutectic solvents (HDESs) have emerged as environmentally friendly solvents that have shown promise for extracting pollutants from water, either for detection or removal purposes. Herein, we investigated the extraction of polystyrene (PS) and polyethylene terephthalate (PET) NPs from aqueous solution using lignin based HDESs as sustainable solvents. Rapid extraction of both PET and PS NPs was observed with the high extraction efficiency achieved (> 95%). The extraction capacities for PET and PS could reach up to 525.877 mg/mL and 183.520 mg/mL, respectively, by the Thymol-2,6-dimethoxyphenol 1:2 HDES. Moreover, the extraction mechanism was studied using various techniques including Fourier-transform infrared analysis, contact angle measurements, molecular dynamics simulation, kinetics, and isotherm studies. This work lays a foundational basis for the future development of innovative HDES-based technologies in the detection and remediation of NPs as part of the grand challenge of plastic pollution.

Original languageEnglish
Article number133695
JournalJournal of Hazardous Materials
StatePublished - Apr 5 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024


  • Extraction
  • Hydrophobic deep eutectic solvents
  • Lignin derivatives
  • Mechanism
  • Nanoplastics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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