Sorption of hydrophobic organic compounds to plastics in marine environments: Equilibrium

S. Endo, A.A. Koelmans

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review

83 Citations (Scopus)


Marine plastics have shown to contain various environmental chemicals. For evaluating the potential of plastics to influence regional and global dynamics of these chemicals and to serve as a vector to marine biota, understanding of sorption and desorption of chemicals by plastics is important. In this chapter, the equilibrium sorption of neutral organic chemicals from water to plastics is discussed. First, the basic principles of equilibrium sorption are explained, and then, factors that influence the magnitude of the sorption coefficient, such as types of plastics and chemicals, temperature, coexisting organic and inorganic constituents in water, are overviewed. Successively, effects on the equilibrium sorption properties of field-relevant mechanisms such as degradation and biofouling as well as nano-sized plastics are discussed. It is evident that studies on sorption properties of aged plastics in field conditions are far less available than those of intact plastics in laboratory conditions.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHazardous Chemicals Associated with Plastics in the Marine Environment
EditorsH. Takada, H.K. Karapanagioti
Place of PublicationCham
ISBN (Electronic)9783319955681
ISBN (Print)9783319955667
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Publication series

NameThe Handbook of Environmental Chemistry


  • Degredation
  • Intermolecular interaction
  • Marine plastic
  • Nano plastic
  • Sorption coefficient


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