The increasing accumulation of persistent nondegradable microplastics in the marine environment represents a global environmental problem. Among emerging approaches to tackle microplastics are micro- and nanomotors, tiny devices capable of autonomous propulsion powered by chemical fuels or light. These devices are capable of on-the-fly recognition, capture, and decomposition of pollutants. In the past, various micromotors were designed to efficiently remove and degrade soluble organic pollutants. Current effort is given to the rational design and surface functionalization to achieve micromotors capable of capturing, transporting, and releasing microplastics of different shapes and chemical structures. The catalytic micromotors performing photocatalysis and photo-Fenton chemistry hold great promise for the degradation of most common plastics. In this review, we highlight recent progress in the field of micromotors for microplastics treatment. These tiny self-propelled machines are expected to stimulate a quantum leap in environmental remediation.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The authors acknowledge support by Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports (Czech Republic) Grant No. LL2002 under the ERC CZ program.
© 2022 The Authors. Published by American Chemical Society.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Chemistry (miscellaneous)
- Materials Science (miscellaneous)