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Article

Elimination of Microplastics at Different Stages in Wastewater Treatment Plants

1
Department of Environmental Science, Keimyung University, Daegu 42601, Republic of Korea
2
National Research and Innovation Agency, Central Jakarta 10340, Indonesia
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Jiangchi Fei, Qian Zhou, Zhenxing Wang and Lizhi Xiong
Water 2022, 14(15), 2404; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14152404
Received: 21 June 2022 / Revised: 29 July 2022 / Accepted: 29 July 2022 / Published: 3 August 2022
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microplastics Pollution and Solutions)
Microplastic pollution has been widely studied as a global issue due to increased plastic usage and its effect on human and aquatic life. Microplastics originate from domestic and industrial activities. Wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) play an important role in removing a significant amount of microplastics; otherwise, they end up in bioaccumulation. This study provides knowledge about the characteristics of microplastics, removal efficiency, and the correlation between wastewater quality and microplastic concentrations from three different WWTPs that differ in the type of biological and advanced wastewater treatment techniques that are believed to play an important role in microplastic removal. Microplastics of different types, such as fragments, fibers, and beads, are identified by using an optical microscope before and after the treatment process at each stage to assess the effect of different treatment techniques. In the screening unit and primary clarifier unit, WWTP-B shows the highest removal efficiency with 74.76% due to a distribution flow system installed before the primary clarifier to ensure a constant flow of wastewater. WWTP-B uses a bioreactor consisting of a filter plate coated with activated carbon (BSTS II) that can enhance the adaptability and adhesion of microorganisms and showed that 91.04% of the microplastic was removed. Furthermore, only WWTP-A and WWTP-B were applied coagulation, followed by the disc filter; they showed significant results in microplastic removal, compared to WWTP-C, which only used a disc filter. In conclusion, from all WWTP, WWTP-B shows good treatment series for removing microplastic in wastewater; however, WWTP-B showed a high rate of microplastic removal; unfortunately, large amounts of microplastics are still released into rivers. View Full-Text
Keywords: wastewater; microplastics; removal; treatment plant; coagulation; disc filter wastewater; microplastics; removal; treatment plant; coagulation; disc filter
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MDPI and ACS Style

Kwon, H.J.; Hidayaturrahman, H.; Peera, S.G.; Lee, T.G. Elimination of Microplastics at Different Stages in Wastewater Treatment Plants. Water 2022, 14, 2404. https://doi.org/10.3390/w14152404

AMA Style

Kwon HJ, Hidayaturrahman H, Peera SG, Lee TG. Elimination of Microplastics at Different Stages in Wastewater Treatment Plants. Water. 2022; 14(15):2404. https://doi.org/10.3390/w14152404

Chicago/Turabian Style

Kwon, Hyuk Jun, Haerul Hidayaturrahman, Shaik Gouse Peera, and Tae Gwan Lee. 2022. "Elimination of Microplastics at Different Stages in Wastewater Treatment Plants" Water 14, no. 15: 2404. https://doi.org/10.3390/w14152404

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