12 December 2019
Team NanopLESStic from Wageningen University & Research is the winner of the Holland Chemistry Student Competition 2019. Team NanopLESStic developed a new type of nanoplastic filter, which can be used as a sensor or to remove nanoplastics from drinkingwater. Students Ezra Bekkering, Dorien Westert and Laura Akkerman each received a cheque for 1,000 euros during chemistry conference CHAINS in Veldhoven. The Holland Chemistry Student Competition is powered by NWO and Holland Chemistry.
There are growing concerns about the presence of nanoscopically small plastics in our rivers and drinking water. Team NanopLESStic produced a filter for these so-called nanoplastics. This filter makes use of a porous, high surface carrier material, coated with special compounds (e.g. Nile Red derivatives) which significantly enhanced nanoplastic adsorption.
Emmo Meijer, the figurehead of Holland Chemistry, awarded the prize and explained the selection committee’s choice: ‘The students from team NanopLESStic excellently explained their project and the results achieved. The project was very well thought through and the team effort was very much appreciated. These students were clearly thinking ahead and already made connections with various industrial partners, that provided feedback on how their findings can be used in the future.’
In April, two teams were nominated as finalists of the Holland Chemistry Student Competition. During a research internship last summer they worked hard on finding a creative solution for a societal or industrial challenge. They presented their results in October to the jury.
In Holland Chemistry, Dutch companies, researchers and the government work together on green and sustainable solutions for the major societal challenges. Holland Chemistry also devotes a lot of attention to the development of talented students who will be able to accelerate innovation within chemistry.
Photocredits: Thijs ter Hart