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Open AccessArticle

Microplastic Fibers Released by Textile Laundry: A New Analytical Approach for the Determination of Fibers in Effluents

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Hohenstein Institut für Textilinnovation gGmbH, Schlosssteige 1, 74357 Bönnigheim, Germany
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University Duisburg-Essen, Institute of Physical Chemistry and Center for Nanointegration, Duisburg-Essen, Universitätsstraße 5, 45117 Essen, Germany
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Deutsches Textilforschungszentrum Nord-West gGmbH, Adlerstr. 1, 47798 Krefeld, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2019, 11(10), 2088; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11102088
Received: 19 August 2019 / Revised: 24 September 2019 / Accepted: 25 September 2019 / Published: 7 October 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microplastics in Aquatic Environments and Wastewater Treatment)
The detection of shedded fibers in effluents from textile washing has attracted much attention due to its reported contribution to microplastic pollution. Commonly used analytical methods for fiber detection in liquids are based on filtration with subsequent microscopic analysis and/or gravimetric weighing. These approaches are time-consuming and prone to errors. In this study, an approach based on dynamic image analysis was applied in order to set up an efficient method to analyze fibers in effluents from washing processes. In an initial validation step, reliable information on the counts of fibers and the morphological characteristics were confirmed. For wastewaters from polyester-cotton blends, the chemical nature of the fiber debris (natural vs. synthetic origin) was determined by combining the dynamic image analysis with a chemical pre-treatment. In this study, dynamic image analysis was revealed as a rapid, non-destructive, precise, and reliable technology for the characterization and quantification of the fiber debris, offering a promising approach for fiber analysis in liquids. View Full-Text
Keywords: microplastic; textile fibers; laundry; analytical method; fiber shedding; dynamic image analysis microplastic; textile fibers; laundry; analytical method; fiber shedding; dynamic image analysis
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MDPI and ACS Style

Haap, J.; Classen, E.; Beringer, J.; Mecheels, S.; Gutmann, J.S. Microplastic Fibers Released by Textile Laundry: A New Analytical Approach for the Determination of Fibers in Effluents. Water 2019, 11, 2088.

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