Do effluent treatment plants remove microplastics from effluent?
Microplastics are very minute bits of plastic, typically too small to be seen with the naked eye, that range in size from 5 mm in diameter to 1 micro-meter. In addition to those minute plastic fragments, there are also minuscule plastic flecks known as nano plastics, which range in size from 1 micro meter to 1 nano meter, or about the same as a strand of DNA.
Consumers are understandably concerned about how microplastics harm humans, and whether they are dangerous because they have found these plastic particles everywhere, even in water.
Therefore, it is important to eliminate microplastics from water before they are consumed!
Now, let’s understand if effluent treatment plants can eliminate microplastics!
Yes! Microplastics and other small anthropogenic litter as particles, fibers, and microbeads are collected and treated at effluent treatment plants.
Effluent is discharged into freshwater ecosystems first, usually rivers, and then carried to the marine environment, depending on the nation and region. The sludge, which is occasionally processed and given to land for reuse in agriculture, may contain microplastics that were extracted from the sewage, but were not completely eliminated.
Stages of ETP to remove microplastics
Treatment of effluent typically occurs in three stages, namely primary, secondary, and tertiary. To remove the large floating materials and grits, a preparatory step is frequently used. However, this step is typically categorized within the primary treatment.
1: Generally speaking, primary treatment is physically removing insoluble materials from the effluent stream, using a variety of techniques, including screening, grit removal, oil and grease removal, and sedimentation (with coagulation). The pollutants that easily float or settle due to gravity, are eliminated at this stage.
2: The secondary (biological) treatment uses either the attached growth system or the suspended growth system, to target the degradation of the biological content of the effluent.
3: The third stage of treatment, known as tertiary treatment, uses a variety of techniques, including reverse osmosis, ozonation, ultrafiltration, microfiltration, and nanofiltration.
Based on the particle concentration of microplastics (i.e., the number of microplastic particles/litre) in the influent and effluent, the removal efficiency in effluent treatment facilities is estimated.
Many selective bans have been implemented in nations around the world, as a result of increased public awareness of the threats that microplastics bring to animals, and the unknown effects they may have on human health.
Using less plastic is the most crucial step that both businesses and consumers can take, to reduce microplastics contamination in water. In order to prevent unintentional leaking into the environment, we must divert as much plastic as we can from landfills, and make sure it is sent to facilities that can handle and process it. With products and packaging created with the circular economy in mind, recycling also needs to be made simpler, more accessible, and more common.
Electrocoagulation in ETPs for removing microplastics
An effective method for removing microplastics is electrocoagulation. The absence of chemicals in electrocoagulation may make it environmentally benign. The process of electrocoagulation includes electrically producing coagulants. The OH ions formed after the electrolysis often react with the Fe+2 or Al+3 ions of the metal electrodes, to produce metal hydroxide coagulants.
Because, they are solid particles, microplastics are destabilized by these coagulants and then become stuck in the sludge blanket they form. Then, microplastics-filled flocs can be eliminated from the water.
How can we assist?
Netsol Water is the top manufacturer of water and wastewater treatment plants. We provide the best water and wastewater treatment systems in the effluent treatment plants to treat microplastics.
The most effective things we can do to regulate this pervasive and still little-understood form of pollution, are to reduce their usage and recycle them, for which we present efficient techniques.
To contact Netsol Water, call on +91 9650608473 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org