How do source estimates of microplastics correspond to what is actually measured at the waste water plant inlet?
A new article compares source estimates of microplastics to a wastewater treatment plant with what is actually measured at the inlet. The "Microplastic Types in the Wastewater System—A Comparison of Material Flow-Based Source Estimates and the Measurement-Based Load to a Wastewater Treatment Plant" is written by Emma Fälström, Kristina Borg Olesen and Stefan Anderberg.
Microplastics are omnipresent in the environment, and wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) have been highlighted as a transport pathway. The aim of the study is to contribute to increased understanding of microplastic sources in wastewater and test the possibilities of source tracking. The article compares source estimates of microplastics to a wastewater treatment plant with what was actually measured at the inlet. In general, there was a good agreement between the two approaches; microplastic types with large shares at the inlet also had large contributions in the source estimates. An exception was cellulose acetate, which was not found at the inlet despite a large theoretical contribution.
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