Research project to remove microplastics from the water cycle
Water is an indispensable element and the basis of life. The consequence of the increasing use of plastics for over 60 years is an undesired input into the environment. Small plastic particles (microplastics) from households and urban areas can enter the water cycle. Microplastics are defined as either primary microplastics (parts of ingredients in beauty and body care products or cleaning agents) or secondary microplastics (as a product of physical, biological or chemical degradation). Microplastic particles are currently defined as smaller than 5 mm.
Under the direction of the TU Berlin, special department of Urban Water Management, and the GKD AG company the Federal Department of Education and Research is funding the two-year research association project „OEMP - Optimized materials and procedures to remove microplastics from the water cycle“, under the subsidy program „Materials for sustainable water management – Mach Was (Do Something)“.
For over 20 years INVENT Umwelt- und Verfahrenstechnik has actively participated in the development of future-oriented technologies in the field of water and wastewater treatment and is a project partner in the research association. In order to guarantee the retention of microplastics from various input pathways in urban water management, such as wastewater treatment plant drainage, combined wastewater effluent or street drainage, new materials and process technologies are expected to be developed. A reproducible methodology for analysis will be developed, as well as a mass flow balance procedure.
Microplastics can reach the ocean via water pathways and rivers. There are many reports on findings of micro- and macroplastics in the stomachs of marine animals, which can point to a reduced intake of food and mechanical injuries. Within the framework of the research project measures and procedures are expected to be developed to reduce the effects of microplastics on the environment.
Goals of the project
• Development of innovative materials
• On-site experiments with innovative materials and systems engineering
• Retention of microplastics from wastewater treatment plant drainage, combined wastewater effluent and street drainage
Project Duration: 4/1/2016 to 3/31/2018
Contact:INVENT Environmental Technologies, Inc.
Dr.-Ing. Marcus Hoefken