A synthetic microplastic fiber-manufacturing method and analysis of airborne microplastic fiber transport behavior in porous media

Stéphane Michel Lüscher, Ho Young Jo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Long-term environmental contamination through microplastic (MP) exposure remains poorly understood and may pose economic and geochemical threats. Notably, only a few studies have been conducted on MP contamination of soils. This study investigated the migration of AMP fibers and their influence on water flow rates through porous media. Multiple columns with diameters of 5 cm and water flow rates of 3 ml/min were filled with glass beads or sand. The particle sizes varied between 3 mm for glass beads and 1–2 or 2–4 mm for sand. A method on how to artificially manufacture MP fibers with sizes ranging from 500 to 1000 μm representing AMP fibers occurring in the environment is introduced. The MP fibers were then introduced into water at varying concentrations that were reported in previous studies. The results revealed that regardless of their concentration, the MP fibers suspended in the water did not clog the porous media. In fact, although the fibers penetrated and accumulated in the soil, they did not disrupt the water flow. We recommend that future research focuses on using MP particles with varying densities and at lower concentrations, to prevent flocculation and increase the experiment run time.

Original languageEnglish
Article number155888
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Volume838
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Sep 10

Keywords

  • Airborne microplastic
  • Column-based experiment
  • Soil contamination

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution

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