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Detection and quantification of microplastics in aeration tank and anaerobic digester of WWTP in Chania municipality

Tsitouras Christos

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Year 2022
Type of Item Diploma Work
Bibliographic Citation Christos Tsitouras, "Detection and quantification of microplastics in aeration tank and anaerobic digester of WWTP in Chania municipality", Diploma Work, School of Chemical and Environmental Engineering, Technical University of Crete, Chania, Greece, 2022
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Microplastics are tiny plastic particles with a diameter less than 5 mm.There are two main categories, primary and secondary microplastics. Secondary microplastics are formed by the fragmentation of older and bigger plastic particles.The main issue here is that when the microplastics are released into the environment (eg. sea, soil), they cannot naturally biodegrade, leading to environmental pollution and causing human health hazard.The aim of this diploma thesis was the microplastic detection as well as the size distribution of the particles collected from the aeration and the anaerobic digestion tanks of the wastewater treatment plant located in Chania.The sampling was carried out in two phases, during wintertime (non - touristic season) and summertime (touristic season).The distribution of the microplastics was performed according to the size, the shape and the concentration of the particles.For the detection as well as the number of microplastics, a micro-stereoscope was essential, while for the observation of the specific characteristics the "IMAJE-J" software was used.Totally, 2.607 microplastics were found in both wastewater treatment tanks, in winter and summer season.In addition to that, it was found that most microplastics came from debris from bigger materials, with the micro-fiber following up. Finally, regarding microplastic sizes, most particles were distributed in the smallest category, between 20-200 μm.

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