Methods development

Factsheet 11: Microplastics in wastewater treatment - Development of sampling and analysis methods for detection of input quantities into surface waters

It is not easy to determine how much microplastic is contained in wastewater and sewage sludge. In addition to plastic, countless other particles and substances are present. To reliably determine the concentration of microplastic particles, complex procedures for sampling as well as for removal of foreign substances and analysis of the microplastic particles are required.

Analysis of Microplastics - Sampling, preparation and detection methods

This status paper was prepared within the framework of the cross-cutting issue 1 "Analytics and reference materials" of the research focus. It summarizes the contents of the project discussions and coordination within the cross-cutting issue. The organization of this ongoing process of development or elaboration has been supported by several events.

InRePlast

Environmental Policy Instruments to Reduce Plastic Pollution of Inland Waters through Drainage Systems
January 2019
December 2021

The project aims to make a significant, transdisciplinary contribution to applied research on the prevention of plastic discharges into water bodies via drainage systems from a behavioural and environmental economics perspective.

EmiStop

Identification of Industrial Plastic Emissions by Means of Innovative Detection Methods and Technology Development to Prevent the Input into the Environment via the Wastewater Pathway
January 2018
December 2020

This project systematically detects emissions of plastics into wastewater from relevant industries. Emissions levels will be analysed along all points of the value chain (production, transport, processing, and cleaning of synthetic materials).

KuWert

Ship-Based Treatment of Plastics for the Implementation of Value Chains in Less Developed Countries as well as for the Prevention of Plastic Inputs into the Environment and Especially in Marine Ecosystems
August 2017
December 2019

Since it is technically and economically impossible to reduce the amount of plastic waste in oceans, solutions to cut the entry of such substances into the environment must be developed. Developing countries, however, often lack land-based approaches to such solutions.

SubμTrack

Tracking of (Sub)Microplastics of Different Identities - Innovative Analysis Tools for Toxicological and Process-engineering Evaluation
September 2017
June 2021

The methods currently available for the analysis of microplastics in environmental matrices are primarily designed for particles in the size range of 1 μm to 5 mm. Smaller particles below 1 μm have hardly been detected so far. However in contrast to larger particles, these are able to enter cells and have a higher potential for adsorption of pollutants due to their relatively larger surface.

RUSEKU

Representative Investigation Strategies for an Integrative System Approach to Specific Emissions of Plastics into the Environment
March 2018
March 2021

This project aims to develop representative investigation methods and strategies for an integrative system understanding of relevant plastic entry paths into the environmental compartment water.

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