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IR microspectroscopic identification of microplastics in municipal wastewater treatment plants.

08:00 EDT 20th March 2020 | BioPortfolio

Summary of "IR microspectroscopic identification of microplastics in municipal wastewater treatment plants."

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.

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This article was published in the following journal.

Name: Environmental science and pollution research international
ISSN: 1614-7499
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