helloworld2019
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How can I measure the micro plastic fibers?

Postby helloworld2019 » Thu Nov 19, 2020 3:55 pm

Hi, I'm planning to compare the amount of micro plastic fibers the washing machine produce at different water temperature for my science fair project. I am going to collect the micro plastic fibers with micro plastic filter. But I'm not sure how I should measure the amount, because I'm pretty sure they will be too light to weigh... I'm going to use different color of clothing for each type of plastic (nylon,Acrylic, Polyester) so I can distinguish them.

EricBebenov24
Student Expert
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Re: How can I measure the micro plastic fibers?

Postby EricBebenov24 » Sun Nov 22, 2020 11:36 am

Hello there!

Your project seems very interesting and practical especially when trying to work on a project at home!

If the microplastic fibers take up the form of strands, then you can possibly try stretching them out and measuring their length. You can then add up all of the lengths and see the difference in amount/quantity from temperature to temperature. If you think that the microplastic fibers will be too light to weigh, you can consider performing several trials for each water temperature which will hopefully provide you with enough fiber that can be weighed, obtaining more fiber than you would have obtained if you only performed one trial.

Just to clarify, are you trying to compare the amount of micorplastic fibers the washing machine produces based on temperature or material of clothing (nylon, acrylic, plyester)? You want to make sure to stay consistent with your variables. If you do decide to compare the amount of microplastic fiber collected with water temperature, make sure that the material of clothing you are placing in the washing machine stays consistent from trial to trial. If you decide to compare the amount of microplastic fiber collected based on material of clothing (maintaining the same temperature), you can conduct three trials each with a different material of clothing (nylon, acrylic, polyester). You can ALSO combine both by measuring the amount of microplastic fiber collected with varied water temperatures AND varied clothing material.

For example, during your first trial you might want to use nylon. The nylon will be washed in both warm and cold water temperatures and in the end, you will measure the amount of microplastc fiber collected following each water temperature. Then in your second trial, you can use acryclic clothing material by washing it in warm and cold water temperatures and measuring the amount of microplastic fiber collected after each water temperature. Do the same for any other materials of clothing you plan on using. Therefore, in the end, you can set up a table that includes materials A, B, C and the range of temperatures (warm vs cold) in your experiment that can RESULT in the amount of microplastic fiber collected. Each trial will provide you with at least two measurements because you are varying the water temperature within each of the trials.

I hope this all makes sense in guiding you through your experiment and questions! If you need clarification on anything, please feel free to ask. Just clarify what your variables are so that I can more easily assist you!

EricBebenov24

helloworld2019
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Joined: Sun Dec 01, 2019 12:49 pm
Occupation: Student

Re: How can I measure the micro plastic fibers?

Postby helloworld2019 » Sun Nov 29, 2020 3:57 pm

My variable will be the water temperature, and I'm going to measure the total amount of fibers along with weigh of each type of plastic fibers. You're response helped a lot, thanks! I ordered the filter. I'll do some trials before actual experiments so I can determine which method works the best.


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