extraction of micro-nano-plastics in wastewater samples

Type of project: MSc Thesis/internship
Starting date: November 2023
Duration: 5-6 months
Location: Wetsus Research Institute, Leeuwarden, the Netherlands

There are a few possibilities for allowances:
– The allowance for students is €200. The student can apply for ‘Wetsus Grant’ allowance (€200 extra; an internal committee decides if the allowance will be granted).
– Students can apply for Erasmus; (if the Erasmus grant is less than €400, the student can apply for the Wetsus Grant).
– Erasmus
*The Wetsus Grant allowance is not guaranteed and must be approved by the Grant Committee.


Micro-nano-plastics (MNPs) are a major concern to drinking water sources and aquatic ecosystems globally. MNPs are typically invisible to the eye and originate from various sources such as the breakdown of larger plastic items, synthetic textiles, and microbeads in cleaning and personal care products.

Here at Wetsus, we are helping to reduce this problem. To achieve this goal, we use a range of analytical methods to fully understand the MNPs within the sample. You will work in a team and help us develop these methods, whilst working on real wastewater samples.

Project description:

Solvent extraction allows researchers to isolate and concentrate MNPs from complex environmental samples. After initial supervision and training, you will assess the effectiveness of commonly used organic solvents to extract MNPs, through gravimetric and Py-GC-MS analysis. You will help us estimate the mass of MNPs in a given sample.


  • Gain hands-on experience and training with advanced analytical equipment.
  • Expertise on how to process and analyse MNPs samples from start to finish.
  • Contribute to scientific articles and publish findings in leading peer-reviewed journals.
  • Be part of the vibrant Wetsus community, and work with colleagues from around the world.


  • Currently enrolled in a bachelor’s or master’s study in a scientific discipline with ​laboratory experience.
  • Ambitious, motivated, willing to learn, and ability to work independently.
  • Interest in sustainability, science and water technology.
  • Fluency in English (speaking, writing and communication skills).
  • Enrolment at European university. For non-EU citizens enrolment at a Dutch university is required.

Your application:

Please fill in the application form below and attach the motivation letter and CV. You can ask the researcher Alexander Finnegan for more information via the message option. Please include “Project B” or “Solvent extraction project” in the message.

Application form: Solvent extraction of micro-nano-plastics in wastewater samples

  • Max. bestandsgrootte: 1 GB.
  • Max. bestandsgrootte: 1 GB.