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Princeton University has studied and revealed the mechanism of how microplastics like Styrofoam and particular pollution travel through distances through porous media like soil.
The study published in Science Advances reveals that these microplastics are pushed free when the rate of flow of fluid through the medium becomes high. The researches at Princeton show how the deposition process, clogs, and erosion help in the breakdown of plastic into microplastics. They are again broken by fluid particles they keep moving over time and distances through pore space until clog reforms.
There are two types of microplastics particles, sticky and non-sticky. The sticky gets trapped at any surface or solid medium it passes through while the non-sticky one gets trapped only in narrow passageways.
The mathematical model better explains how a microparticle moves over a certain distance and reaches a vulnerable destination such as farmland near or a nearby river ecosystem.