Occurrence and Characteristics of Microplastics in Leachate at a Large Municipal Wastewater Treatment Plant
More details
Hide details
Cracow University of Technology
Online publication date: 2023-01-05
Publication date: 2022-12-01
Civil and Environmental Engineering Reports 2022;32(4):105–115
Due to the widespread occurrence and the potential threat to the environment, plastic materials are currently a growing problem of environmental protection in the world. Plastics whit dimensions not exceeding 5 mm are called microplastics. One of the main sources of microplastics in the aquatic environment are municipal wastewater treatment plants. The paper presents the results of research on the presence of microplastics in leachate from sludge processing at a large municipal wastewater treatment plant. The leachate was divided into the leachate produced in the processes of sludge thickening and dewatering. The analysis of the isolated microplastics included a physical analysis, which focuses on determining size, shape, and color of the isolated material. The next step was the chemical identification of the microplastic, where the type of polymer of the tested material was confirmed by means of Attenuated Total Reflection Fourier Transform Infrared. Among the isolated microplastic particles, almost a half was identified as fragments, and a smaller amount was confirmed for the presence of foil, fibers, foams and granules. The identified particles were plastic materials, including polypropylene, polyethylene, polystyrene or poly(terephthalate). Based on the results of the conducted research, the mass of microplastics in leachate was characterized and determined.
Borrelle, SB et al. 2020. Predicted growth in plastic waste exceeds efforts to mitigate plastic pollution. Science 369 (6510), 1515-1518.
Charles, E and Carraher, J 2013. Introduction to polymer chemistry (3rd ed.). Boca Raton: CRC Press.
Choong, WS et al. 2021. Characterization of microplastics in the water and sediment of Bram River estuary, Borneo Island. Marine Pollution Bulletin 172, 112880.
Crawford, CB and Quinn, B, 2017. Microplastic Pollutants. Oxford: Elsevier Inc.
da Costa, JP, Paço, A, Santos, PSM, Duarte, AC and Rocha-Santos, T 2018. Microplastics in soils: assessment, analytics and risks. Environmental Chemistry 16, 18-30.
Ding, L, Mao, RF, Guo, X, Yang, X, Zhang, Q and Yang, C 2019. Microplastics in surface waters and sediments of the Wei River, in the northwest of China. Science of The Total Environment 667, 427–434.
Duis, K and Coors, A 2016. Microplastics in the aquatic and terrestrial environment: sources (with a specific focus on personal care products), fate and effects. Environmental Sciences Europe 28, 2.
El Hayany, B, Rumpel, C, Hafidi, M, El Fels, Loubna 2022. Occurrence, analysis of microplastics in sewage sludge and their fate during composting: A literature review. Journal of Environmental Management 317, 115364.
EU Commission 2011. Commission recommendation of 18 October 2011 on the definition of nanomaterial (2011/696/EU). Official Journal of the European Union, no. L275 [verified 13.09.2022].
Goβmann, I, Süβmuth, R and Scholz-Böttcher, BM 2022. Plastic in the air?! – Spider webs as spatial and temporal mirror for microplastics including tire wear particles in urban air. Science of The Total Environment 832, 155008.
Hamidian, AH, Ozumchelouei, EJ, Feizi, F, Wu, C, Zhang, Y and Yang, M 2021. A review on the characteristics of microplastics in wastewater treatment plants: A source for toxic chemicals. Journal of Cleaner Production 295, 12658.
Harper, C 2002. Handbook of Plastics, Elastomers and Composites (4th ed.). McGraw-Hill Professional.
Kay, P, Hiscoe, R, Moberley, I, Bajic, L and McKenna, N 2018. Wastewater treatment plants as a source of microplastics in river catchments. Environmental Science and Pollution Research 25, 20264-20267.
Lares, M, Ncibi, MC, Sillanpää, M and Sillanpää, M 2018. Occurrence, Identification and removal of microplastic particles and fibers in conventional activated sludge process and advanced MBR technology. Water Research 133, 236–246.
Li, Y, Li, M, Li, Z, Yang, L, Liu, X 2019. Effects of particle size and solution chemistry on Triclosan sorption on polystyrene microplastic. Chemosphere 231, 308-314.
Liu, W et al. 2021. A review of the removal of microplastics in global wastewater treatment plants: Characteristics and mechanisms. Environmental International 146, 106277.
Lv, X, Dong, Q, Zuo, Z, Liu, Y, Huang, X, Wu, WM 2019. Microplastics in a municipal wastewater treatment plant: Fate, dynamic distribution, removal efficiencies, and control strategies. Journal of Cleaner Production 225, 579–586.
Pastorino, P et al. 2021. First insights into plastic and microplastic occurrence in biotic and abiotic compartments, and snow from a high-mountain lake (Carnic Alps). Chemosphere 265, 129121.
PlasticEurope (2021). Plastics – the Facts 2021. An analysis of European plastics production, demand and waste data, available at: https://plasticseurope.org/kno... [verified 13.09.2022].
Quinn, B, Murphy, F and Ewins, C 2016. Validation of density separation for the rapid recovery of microplastics from sediment. Analytical Methods 9, 1491–1498.
Sun, J, Dai, X, Wang, Q, van Loosdrecht, MCM, Ni, BJ 2019. Microplastics in Wastewater Treatment Plants: Detection, Occurrence and Removal. Water Research 152, 21–37.
Tirkey, A, Upadhyay, LSB 2021. Microplastics: An overview on separation, identification and characterization of microplastics. Marine Pollution Bulletin 170, 112604.
Turan, NB, Erkan, HS, Engine, GO 2021. Microplastics in wastewater treatment plants: Occurrence, fate and identification. Process Safety and Environmental Protection 146, 77-84.