MiKaMi – Release of Microplastics Through Wastewater, Sewage, and Mixed-Water Treatment Plants

Contact

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+49 241 80 91512

Email

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Contact

Name

Volker Linnemann

Head of Laboratory

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+49 241 80 91523

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Micro plastics are plastic parts smaller than 5 mm. These are detected ubiquitously in the environment in the form of particles, fibres, microbeads, or pellets and are associated with potential dangers for ecosystems. To this day, however, neither the exact microplastic concentrations in the various ecosystems nor their exact sources and routes of entry are known.

Due to the widespread use of plastic products in households, clothing, cosmetics and plastic abrasion, domestic wastewater is a potential source for the release of microplastics into the aquatic environment. With regard to the possible release of microplastics from wastewater treatment plants and mixed water treatment plants, however, there is still a considerable need for research.

Within the scope of the research project "MiKaMi - Release of Microplastics from Wastewater Treatment Plants – Sewage Treatment Plants and Mixed Water Treatment Plants", the input potential of microplastics from wastewater treatment plants is to be investigated. For this purpose, three sewage treatment plants with different sizes and purification technologies as well as a mixed water treatment plant will be investigated.

On the basis of the investigations, further knowledge will be gained about microplastics concentration in the inflow of sewage treatment plants and about the retention capacity of micro-plastics at the individual purification stages of conventional wastewater treatment.

In addition, the input potential of microplastics in water bodies of sewage treatment plant effluents is compared with the potential of mixed water discharges. Sampling techniques and investigation methods from other investigation programs are also taken into account and, if necessary, harmonized for the federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia.

 

Information about Research Project MiKaMi

Funding Agency

The Ministry for Environment, Agriculture, Conservation and Consumer Protection of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia

Duration

February 2016 to January 2018

Project Manager

Vanessa Spelthahn, M. Sc.
Dr. agr. Dipl. Chem. Volker Linnemann