Based on a new concept for the sustainable removal of microplastics from freshwater systems, a case study for a pH-induced agglomeration and subsequent removal of polyethylene and polypropylene particles from water is presented. The two-step-based process includes firstly a localization and secondly an aggregation of microplastic particles (250–350 μM) in a physicochemical process. The research describes a strong increase in the particle size independent of pH of the aquatic milieu induced by the addition of trichlorosilane-substituted Si derivatives. The resulting Si-based microplastic aggregates (particle size after aggregation is 2–3 cm) could be easily removed by use of, e.g., sand traps. Due to the effect that microplastic particles form agglomeration products under every kind of process conditions (e.g., various pH, various polymer concentrations), the study shows a high potential for the sustainable removal of particles from wastewater.
Environmental Science and Pollution Research – Springer Journals
Published: Apr 19, 2018
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