Microplastics in different water samples (seawater, freshwater, and wastewater): Removal efficiency of membrane treatment processes

The distribution and fate of microplastics in different water sources and their treatment plants (seawater, three municipal wastewaters, a pharmaceutical factory wastewater, and three drinking waters) in France were studied. Currently, research in this field is still under exploration since almost no relevant standards or policies have been introduced for the detection, the removal, or the discharge of microplastics. This study used an improved quantitative and qualitative analytical methodology for microplastic detection by μ-FTIR carried out with siMPle analytical software. By investigation, wastewater was determined to contain the most abundant microplastics in quantity (4,203-42,000 MP·L-1), then followed by surface water/groundwater (153-19,836 MP·L-1) and seawater (around 420 MP·L-1). Polyethylene was the dominant material in almost all water types followed by polypropylene, polystyrene, and polyethylene terephthalate. Almost all treatment technologies could remove microplastics whatever the feed water types and concentration of microplastics, though some treatment processes or transport pipes could cause additional contamination from microplastics. The four WWTPs, three DWTPs, and SWTP in France provided, respectively, 87.8-99.8%, 82.3-99.9%, 69.0-96.0% removal/retention of MPs in quantity, and provided 97.3-100%, 91.9-99.9%, 92.2-98.1% removal/retention of MPs in surface area. Moreover, ultrafiltration was confirmed to be an effective technology for microplastic retention and control of dimensions of microplastics in smaller ranges both in field-scale and lab-scale experiments. The 200 kDa ultrafiltration membrane could retain 70-100% and 80-100% of microplastics in quantity and in surface area, respectively.

J. Yang, M. Monnot, Y. Sun, L. Asia, P. Wong-Wah-Chung, et al.. Microplastics in different water samples (seawater, freshwater, and wastewater): Removal efficiency of membrane treatment processes. Water Research, 2023, 232, pp.119673. ⟨10.1016/j.watres.2023.119673⟩. ⟨hal-03989908⟩

Journal: Water Research

Date de publication: 01-04-2023

  • J. Yang
  • M. Monnot
  • Y. Sun
  • L. Asia
  • P. Wong-Wah-Chung
  • P. Doumenq
  • P. Moulin

Digital object identifier (doi): http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.watres.2023.119673

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