Microplastics Removal by Coagulation and Flocculation Process

Nicholas Banuelos, Pitiporn Asvapathanagul, California State University - Long Beach, 1250 Bellflower Blvd, Long Beach, CA 90840

Microplastics, anthropogenic emerging contaminants, have vastly deteriorated environmental and human health. Microplastics are detected in all compartments, including air, water and soils. Currently, storm water and discharges from wastewater treatment plants have been claimed as major sources releasing microplastics to the environmental. Hence, there are needs of efficient microplastics removal processes at the wastewater treatment facilities to reduce numbers of microplastics prior to discharging. Since microplastics are in the same size range of colloids and suspended solids, we hypothesize that the available applications removing colloidal contaminants are possibly able to remove microplastics from water and wastewater.  The goal of this study is to employ coagulation and flocculation to enhance microplastics separation from water. Four types of microplastics, including nylon, polyvinyl chloride (PVC), polyethylene (PE) and polystyrene, in various size ranges up to 900 µm, are tested. Aluminum potassium sulfate (AlK(SO4)2) is served as a coagulant and cation polymer is a flocculant used in this study. The optimal concentration of AlK(SO4)2 alone and/or polymer will be determined at the lowest turbidity of treated water measured. pH of water samples will also be varied, and the coagulation and flocculation will be tested, accordingly. Charges on microplastics’ surfaces and floc size will also be determined along with their settling ability of the water samples before and after treatment. The outcomes of this study will provide optimal operational practices prior to enhance microplastics removal at water reclamation facilities.

Additional Abstract Information

Presenter: Nicholas Banuelos

Institution: California State University - Long Beach

Type: Poster

Subject: Engineering

Status: Approved

Time and Location

Session: Poster 6
Date/Time: Tue 2:00pm-3:00pm
Session Number: 4610