for more efficiency and sustainability in (waste) water purification
Here is the fourth and thus final part of our series on microplastic detection. After describing the state of the art in detection methods in the first part and why it doesn't make us happy, we presented our own - easy-to-use, fast and inexpensive - detection method Wasser 3.0 detect in the second part. The urgent need for a
standardized detection method
was the topic of the third part. We consider Wasser 3.0 detect to be extremely suitable to become this standardized procedure. We also consider Wasser 3.0 detect to be extremely suitable for raising
efficiency and sustainability to a new level in all (waste)water treatment processes
that deal with
. We write about this here.
You cannot monitor microplastic loads continuously? You can now!
Not only for our own research and development, our new detection method in combination with Wasser 3.0 PE-X® is a big eagerly awaited step (as we described in our first blog post on microplastic detection). Any technology in this area could become more efficient and environmentally friendly.
With Wasser 3.0 detect (waste) water purification processes can be:
flexibly adapted to current contamination situations and
continuously monitored and optimized with regard to their resource and elimination efficiency.
Application areas that we see for Wasser 3.0 detect are:
Industry (process control, wastewater control).
Water management (wastewater treatment plants, drinking water treatment).
Wasser 3.0 detect can also be used for sampling water bodies (surface water, seawater, groundwater). Research facilities and institutes, especially with a focus on ecology, capacity building, awareness raising and citizen participation/Citizen Science, could use it to collect enormous amounts of scientifically-founded meaningful data on local concentrations of microplastics.
No valid database = no limit values = no reason to act
Until today, as described in the third part of our detection series, we do not have limit values or binding guidelines for microplastic contamination of (waste)water. The discharge of microplastic-contaminated water from municipal or industrial wastewater treatment plants and processes is thus neither regulated nor controlled. Today, industrial producers have no obligation to do anything about microplastic waste in their wastewater. Municipal wastewater treatment plants also do not have to take active action.
Our municipal wastewater treatment plants are a collection basin for microplastics from domestic wastewater, industrial wastewater, surface runoff, stormwater and landfills. Due to their treatment processes, they are on the one hand a barrier against the distribution of microplastics into the water cycle, on the other hand also a significant source for the further distribution of microplastics. The reason lies, among other things, in inadequate purification technologies with regard to microplastics resulting in large quantities of more or less purified wastewater being discharged daily into adjacent streams, rivers or directly into the sea.
Estimates from studies show that each wastewater treatment plant transports between 93 million and 8.2 billion plastic particles into rivers and oceans annually. Water loads of particles ranged from 86 to 714 per cubic meter, and of fibers from 98 to 1479 per cubic meter.
Monetary and other arguments - without compulsion - to remove microplastics from water
Currently, arguments for the removal of microplastics from (waste) water derive from the wish to fulfill one's own corporate responsibility in an environmental and health-protective manner, even without legal requirements (key words: producer responsibility, precautionary principle).
But let´s be frank: Removing microplastics from water, as we are already doing with our Wasser 3.0 - PE-X® process in some projects, is as of now a nice-to-have and above all needs to include this must-have: No additional costs.
Therefore, we present some more arguments supporting a decision for the removal of microplastics from (waste) water, especially industrial process water. Because removing microplastics from water also means:
reusing water and saving wastewater,
reducing maintenance and capital expenditure of plants, and
Last but not least, another good reason to start removing microplastics from water as soon as possible: The reuse of the microplastic agglomerates obtained.
Under the name Wasser 3.0 reuse we currently develop concepts on how the agglomerates obtained from our processes can be used as the basis for new products.
The first fields of application are becoming concrete and the first product lies in front of us on our desk. Together with our cooperation partners we are thrilled.
With this outlook on our microplastics strategy detect | remove | reuse we conclude our four-part series on microplastic detection and our new detection method Wasser 3.0 detect.
If you have any questions about Wasser 3.0 detect, are interested in piloting it in your (waste)water treatment processes, or have any other questions about Wasser 3.0, please feel free to write us. We are looking forward to it.