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Article

Silicon Nanomembrane Filtration and Imaging for the Evaluation of Microplastic Entrainment along a Municipal Water Delivery Route

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306 Goergen Hall, Biomedical Engineering, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY 14627, USA
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508 Goergen Hall, The Institute of Optics, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY 14627, USA
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Rochester Water Bureau, 7412 Rix Hill Rd, Hemlock, NY 14466, USA
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Department of Dermatology, University of Rochester Medical Center, 601 Elmwood Ave, Rochester, NY 14642, USA
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405 Goergen Hall, The Institute of Optics, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY 14627, USA
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Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Sustainability 2020, 12(24), 10655; https://doi.org/10.3390/su122410655
Received: 26 November 2020 / Revised: 16 December 2020 / Accepted: 17 December 2020 / Published: 20 December 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Pollution and Lake Ecosystems)
To better understand the origin of microplastics in municipal drinking water, we evaluated 50 mL water samples from different stages of the City of Rochester’s drinking water production and transport route, from Hemlock Lake to the University of Rochester. We directly filtered samples using silicon nitride nanomembrane filters with precisely patterned slit-shaped pores, capturing many of the smallest particulates (<20 µm) that could be absorbed by the human body. We employed machine learning algorithms to quantify the shapes and quantity of debris at different stages of the water transport process, while automatically segregating out fibrous structures from particulate. Particulate concentrations ranged from 13 to 720 particles/mL at different stages of the water transport process and fibrous pollution ranged from 0.4 to 8.3 fibers/mL. A subset of the debris (0.2–8.6%) stained positively with Nile red dye which identifies them as hydrophobic polymers. Further spectroscopic analysis also indicated the presence of many non-plastic particulates, including rust, silicates, and calcium scale. While water leaving the Hemlock Lake facility is mostly devoid of debris, transport through many miles of piping results in the entrainment of a significant amount of debris, including plastics, although in-route reservoirs and end-stage filtration serve to reduce these concentrations. View Full-Text
Keywords: silicon nanomembrane; microplastics; ultrafiltration; municipal water silicon nanomembrane; microplastics; ultrafiltration; municipal water
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MDPI and ACS Style

Madejski, G.R.; Ahmad, S.D.; Musgrave, J.; Flax, J.; Madejski, J.G.; Rowley, D.A.; DeLouise, L.A.; Berger, A.J.; Knox, W.H.; McGrath, J.L. Silicon Nanomembrane Filtration and Imaging for the Evaluation of Microplastic Entrainment along a Municipal Water Delivery Route. Sustainability 2020, 12, 10655. https://doi.org/10.3390/su122410655

AMA Style

Madejski GR, Ahmad SD, Musgrave J, Flax J, Madejski JG, Rowley DA, DeLouise LA, Berger AJ, Knox WH, McGrath JL. Silicon Nanomembrane Filtration and Imaging for the Evaluation of Microplastic Entrainment along a Municipal Water Delivery Route. Sustainability. 2020; 12(24):10655. https://doi.org/10.3390/su122410655

Chicago/Turabian Style

Madejski, Gregory R., S. D. Ahmad, Jonathan Musgrave, Jonathan Flax, Joseph G. Madejski, David A. Rowley, Lisa A. DeLouise, Andrew J. Berger, Wayne H. Knox, and James L. McGrath. 2020. "Silicon Nanomembrane Filtration and Imaging for the Evaluation of Microplastic Entrainment along a Municipal Water Delivery Route" Sustainability 12, no. 24: 10655. https://doi.org/10.3390/su122410655

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