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Municipal wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) have been identified as a key source of microplastics (MPs) release into rivers and oceans. Varied extents of MPs pollution have been observed at different WWTPs with limited information in Thailand. This research aimed to study the occurrence of MPs in municipal WWTPs in Thailand by measuring MPs of three WWTPs which employ different treatment process. The WWTPs were selected to represent MP pollution from urbanized and suburbanized areas with different treatment set-ups, i.e., sequence batch reactor (WWTP-A), oxidation ditch (WWTP-B), and conventional activated sludge (WWTP-C). Water and sludge sampling was performed at the inlet and outlet of primary and secondary treatment units. The results indicate that the average MPs removal efficiency of the WWTPs was ca. 84%, with the aeration tank as the main removal unit by transferring MPs from the water phase to sludge. Primary treatment comprising of screening and grit chambers could not remove MPs effectively. Most of the MPs observed in the WWTPs were fibers (32-57%), mostly made of polyester, polyethylene, polyacrylate, and polypropylene. From these results, it is suggested to implement tertiary treatment options to improve MPs removal efficiency in WWTPs, and to apply post-treatment to the WWTPs' raw sludge to prevent the MPs' release into the environment when the sludge is applied to agricultural land.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Environmental science and pollution research international
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A genus of colorless, filamentous, rod-shaped bacteria in the family THIOTRICHACEAE, containing sulfur globules. Thiothrix species are found as components of BIOFILMS in irrigation systems and wastewater treatment plants, and in marine environments as endosymbionts.
Garbage, refuse, or sludge, or other discarded materials from a wastewater treatment plant, water supply treatment plant, and air pollution control facility that include solid, semi-solid, or contained material. It does not include materials dissolved in domestic sewage, irrigation return flows, or industrial discharges.
A colorless, odorless, highly water soluble vinyl monomer formed from the hydration of acrylonitrile. It is primarily used in research laboratories for electrophoresis, chromatography, and electron microscopy and in the sewage and wastewater treatment industries.
Colorless, odorless crystals that are used extensively in research laboratories for the preparation of polyacrylamide gels for electrophoresis and in organic synthesis, and polymerization. Some of its polymers are used in sewage and wastewater treatment, permanent press fabrics, and as soil conditioning agents.
Non-optimal interval of time between onset of symptoms, identification, and initiation of treatment.