Reuse of Water Contaminated by Microplastics, the Effectiveness of Filtration Processes: A Review

Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Información del item - Informació de l'item - Item information
Title: Reuse of Water Contaminated by Microplastics, the Effectiveness of Filtration Processes: A Review
Authors: Conesa, Juan A. | Ortuño García, Nuria
Research Group/s: Residuos, Energía, Medio Ambiente y Nanotecnología (REMAN)
Center, Department or Service: Universidad de Alicante. Departamento de Ingeniería Química | Universidad de Alicante. Instituto Universitario de Ingeniería de los Procesos Químicos
Keywords: Drinking water | Wastewater | Sewage sludge | Microplastics | Microfibers | Sand filtration
Knowledge Area: Ingeniería Química
Issue Date: 25-Mar-2022
Publisher: MDPI
Citation: Conesa JA, Ortuño N. Reuse of Water Contaminated by Microplastics, the Effectiveness of Filtration Processes: A Review. Energies. 2022; 15(7):2432.
Abstract: Water treatment generally does not specifically address the removal of microplastics (MPs). Nevertheless, treatment plants process water effectively, and the number of synthetic microparticles in effluents is usually very low. Still, discharge volumes from water-treatment plants are often elevated (reaching around 108 L/day), leading to the daily discharge of a substantial number of MPs and microfibers. Furthermore, MPs accumulate in the primary and secondary sludge, which in the end results in another environmental problem as they are currently used to amend soils, both for cultivation and forestry, leading to their dispersion. Something similar occurs with the treatment of water intended for human consumption, which has a much lower but still significant number of MPs. The amount of these pollutants being released into the environment depends on the processes that the water undergoes. One of the most-used treatment processes is rapid sand filtration, which is reviewed in this article. During the filtration process, MPs can break into smaller pieces, resulting in a greater number of plastic particles which mainly accumulate in sewage sludge. Thermal processes, such as incineration, carried out in facilities with the best available techniques in practice, could guarantee the safe disposal of highly MP-contaminated sewage sludges.
Sponsor: This research was funded by MINISTRY OF SCIENCE AND INNOVATION (Spain), grant number PID2019-105359RB-I00, and by the UNIVERSITY OF ALICANTE, grant number UAUSTI20-05.
ISSN: 1996-1073
DOI: 10.3390/en15072432
Language: eng
Type: info:eu-repo/semantics/article
Rights: © 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (
Peer Review: si
Publisher version:
Appears in Collections:INV - REMAN - Artículos de Revistas

Files in This Item:
Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormat 
ThumbnailConesa_Ortuno_2022_Energies.pdf1,13 MBAdobe PDFOpen Preview

This item is licensed under a Creative Commons License Creative Commons