Nano/microplastics in water and wastewater treatment processes – Origin, impact and potential solutions

Marie Enfrin, Ludovic F. Dumée, Judy Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

374 Scopus citations

Abstract

The presence of nano and microplastics in water has increasingly become a major environmental challenge. A key challenge in their detection resides in the relatively inadequate analytical techniques available preventing deep understanding of the fate of nano/microplastics in water. The occurrence of nano/microplastics in water and wastewater treatment plants poses a concern for the quality of the treated water. Due to their broad but small size and diverse chemical natures, nano/microplastics may travel easily along water and wastewater treatment processes infiltrating remediation processes at various levels, representing operational and process stability challenges. This review aims at presenting the current understanding of the fate and impact of nano/microplastics through water and wastewater treatment plants. The formation and fragmentation mechanisms, physical-chemical properties and occurrence of nano/microplastics in water are correlated to the interactions of nano/microplastics with water and wastewater treatment plant processes and potential solutions to limit these interactions are comprehensively reviewed. This critical analysis offers new strategies to limit the number of nano/microplastics in water and wastewater to keep water quality up to the required standards and reduce threats on our ecosystems.

Original languageBritish English
Pages (from-to)621-638
Number of pages18
JournalWater Research
Volume161
DOIs
StatePublished - 15 Sep 2019

Keywords

  • Fragmentation
  • Nano/microplastics
  • Water and wastewater treatment processes
  • Water quality

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