Author ORCID Identifier

Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Master of Science in Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering (MSBiosyAgE)

Document Type

Master's Thesis


Agriculture; Engineering


Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering

First Advisor

Dr. Jian Shi


The production of plastic and the amount of waste plastic that enters the environment increases every year. Synthetic polymers will gradually break down into particles on the micro- and nano-scale. The micro- and nano-plastics pose a significant ecological harm by transporting toxic chemicals and causing inflammation and cellular damage when ingested. Two common plastics are polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and Polystyrene (PS), and a newer bioplastic polylactic acid (PLA) that has become a popular alternative. Deep eutectic solvents are a recently discovered solvent composed of a hydrogen bond donor and hydrogen bond acceptor and have been proposed as a cheaper alternative to ionic liquids. Hydrophobic varieties of natural DES (NADES) have been used as extractants in liquid-liquid extractions. The aim of this study is to investigate the relationship between three NADES and micro- and nano-plastics in a liquid-liquid extraction system. The results show that all three NADES extracted plastic particles in the range of 55%-83% with varying rates of extraction. The conclusions from this study are that the plastic particles have a higher affinity for NADES than water and may extract at different rates, but the maximum percentage of plastic particles extracted does not vary significantly.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

Funding Information

This work was supported by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Hatch-Multistate project under accession number 1018315 and the National Science Foundation under Cooperative Agreement No. 1632854.

Period: 1018315 (year 2018-2023); 1632854 (year 2016-2021)