Improving of an easy, effective and low-cost method for isolation of microplastic fibers collected in drying machines filters

Sci Total Environ. 2023 Sep 20:892:164549. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2023.164549. Epub 2023 Jun 1.


Microplastic fibers have been found to be a dominant form of microplastics in water matrixes, and textile industry and domestic washing of synthetic textiles as one of its main sources. Additionally, there is a lack of knowlidge about microplastic fiber release during mechanically drying clothes and textiles due to differences in the isolation of microplastic fiber methods. Limited information available in the literature in terms of the isolation of microplastic fibers from organic-rich samples after using different household equipment represents one of the main challenges leading us to our main goal, to optimise an effective, simple, and low-cost method for the isolation of microplastic fibers from textile fibers of different origins without damaging their structure. This is achieved by primarily removing mineral matter by using density separation with a saturated solution of ZnCl2 followed by removal of organic matter by using hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) and FeCl3 as a catalyst. Identification of microplastic fibers was obtained by optical microscope, Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy and Thermogravimetric analysis. Clear microscope (both optical and SEM) images, high percentage of obtained FTIR spectra overlap with Polymer Sample laboratory, clear TGA of isolated samples confirmed that this method can be used as a simple and effective method for isolation of microplastic fibers from organic components rich samples of different origin.

Keywords: Drying machines; Filter bag; Household; Isolation method; Microfiber; Textiles.

MeSH terms

  • Environmental Monitoring
  • Hydrogen Peroxide / analysis
  • Microplastics*
  • Plastics / analysis
  • Textiles / analysis
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical* / analysis


  • Microplastics
  • Plastics
  • Hydrogen Peroxide
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical