Characteristics of microplastics in the sludge of wastewater treatment plants

Document Type : Original Research Paper


1 Diseases and Tropical Medicine Research Center, Research Institute of Cellular and Molecular Sciences in Infectious Diseases, Zahedan University of Medical Sciences, Zahedan, Iran

2 Student Research Committee, Zahedan University of Medical Sciences, Zahedan, Iran


In recent decades, one of the environmental concerns is contamination with emerging pollutants of microplastics. Microplastics enter the environment through wastewater treatment plants and can absorb harmful pollutants. This study investigated microplastic pollution in the sludge of Zahedan wastewater treatment plants. To investigate microplastic pollution in the sludge of Zahedan wastewater treatment plants, 5 kg samples of sludge were passed through stainless-steel sieves and digested using H2O2 solution. NaCl was used based on density to separate microplastics. FESEM and FTIR analyses were used to investigate the surface morphology and polymer type of microplastics. The abundance of microplastic particles in the sludge ranged from 71-95 N/Kgdry.sludge, and their size varied from 25-500 micrometers. The most common color observed was transparent, and the fiber shape was the most prevalent. The study highlights the importance of addressing microplastic pollution in wastewater treatment plants to prevent harmful effects on the environment. Also, the data obtained from this study can be used to improve the treatment process and understand the removal of microplastics in urban wastewater treatment plants.


Main Subjects

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