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Wastewater treatment plants as a pathway for microplastics: Development of a new approach to sample wastewater-based microplastics

Overview of attention for article published in Water Research, April 2017
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Mentioned by

twitter
3 tweeters

Citations

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52 Dimensions

Readers on

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313 Mendeley
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Title
Wastewater treatment plants as a pathway for microplastics: Development of a new approach to sample wastewater-based microplastics
Published in
Water Research, April 2017
DOI 10.1016/j.watres.2017.01.042
Pubmed ID
Authors

Shima Ziajahromi, Peta A. Neale, Llew Rintoul, Frederic D.L. Leusch

Abstract

Wastewater effluent is expected to be a pathway for microplastics to enter the aquatic environment, with microbeads from cosmetic products and polymer fibres from clothes likely to enter wastewater treatment plants (WWTP). To date, few studies have quantified microplastics in wastewater. Moreover, the lack of a standardized and applicable method to identify microplastics in complex samples, such as wastewater, has limited the accurate assessment of microplastics and may lead to an incorrect estimation. This study aimed to develop a validated method to sample and process microplastics from wastewater effluent and to apply the developed method to quantify and characterise wastewater-based microplastics in effluent from three WWTPs that use primary, secondary and tertiary treatment processes. We applied a high-volume sampling device that fractionated microplastics in situ and an efficient sample processing procedure to improve the sampling of microplastics in wastewater and to minimize the false detection of non-plastic particles. The sampling device captured between 92% and 99% of polystyrene microplastics using 25 μm-500 μm mesh screens in laboratory tests. Microplastic type, size and suspected origin in all studied WWTPs, along with the removal efficiency during the secondary and tertiary treatment stages, was investigated. Suspected microplastics were characterised using Fourier Transform Infrared spectroscopy, with between 22 and 90% of the suspected microplastics found to be non-plastic particles. An average of 0.28, 0.48 and 1.54 microplastics per litre of final effluent was found in tertiary, secondary and primary treated effluent, respectively. This study suggests that although low concentrations of microplastics are detected in wastewater effluent, WWTPs still have the potential to act as a pathway to release microplastics given the large volumes of effluent discharged to the aquatic environment. This study focused on a single sampling campaign, with long-term monitoring recommended to further characterise microplastics in wastewater.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 3 tweeters who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 313 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Denmark 1 <1%
Unknown 312 100%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Master 69 22%
Student > Ph. D. Student 67 21%
Student > Bachelor 52 17%
Researcher 40 13%
Unspecified 34 11%
Other 51 16%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Environmental Science 112 36%
Unspecified 57 18%
Agricultural and Biological Sciences 47 15%
Engineering 32 10%
Chemistry 24 8%
Other 41 13%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 2. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 26 April 2017.
All research outputs
#7,366,668
of 12,269,818 outputs
Outputs from Water Research
#3,512
of 5,590 outputs
Outputs of similar age
#172,339
of 334,986 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Water Research
#56
of 136 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 12,269,818 research outputs across all sources so far. This one is in the 37th percentile – i.e., 37% of other outputs scored the same or lower than it.
So far Altmetric has tracked 5,590 research outputs from this source. They receive a mean Attention Score of 3.6. This one is in the 34th percentile – i.e., 34% of its peers scored the same or lower than it.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 334,986 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one is in the 44th percentile – i.e., 44% of its contemporaries scored the same or lower than it.
We're also able to compare this research output to 136 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one is in the 42nd percentile – i.e., 42% of its contemporaries scored the same or lower than it.