Microplastics

Microplastics and microfibers in the sludge of a municipal wastewater treatment plant

MICROPLASTICS & MICROFIBERS ARE PRESENT IN THE SLUDS OF A MUNICIPAL WASTEWATER TREATING PLANT

Author(s)

J. BAYO, S. OLMOS, J. LOPEZ-CASTELLANOS & A. ALCOLEA

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Ingestion of synthetic microfibers by various organisms within the eco-community is causing an increase in microplastics. This paper discusses the importance of wastewater plants (WWTPs), as a source for microplastics and synthetic microfibers in the environment. After being separated from sludge, these micropollutants were monitored at an urban WWTP in 2015. The micro-pollutants have been extracted using flotation and a solution of concentrated sodium chloride, along with stainless steel sieves. After an initial trinocular microscopy, the samples underwent analysis by Fourier transform IR spectrometry, and differential scanning calorimetry, but only on the subsamples identified. There were significant matches to databases, which identified different compounds, such as polypropylene and Nylon(c), thermoplastic polyamides in transparent form, norbornene and ethyl acrylicate. These microplastics, microfibers, and organic matter could be transported on fertilizers to be used as compost for the fields of Campo de Cartagena.

Keywords

Microplastics, wastewater treatment plant, microfibers