The application of bioremediation in wastewater treatment plants for microplastics removal: A practical perspective
AffiliationDepartment of Environmental Science, The University of Arizona
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherSpringer Science and Business Media LLC
CitationTang, K.H.D., Hadibarata, T. The application of bioremediation in wastewater treatment plants for microplastics removal: A practical perspective. Bioprocess Biosyst Eng 45, 1865–1878 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00449-022-02793-x
Rights© The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2022.
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AbstractWastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) play the role of intercepting microplastics in the environment and provide a platform for bioremediation to remove microplastics. Despite, this opportunity has not been adequately studied. This paper shows the potential ways microplastics-targeted bioremediation could be incorporated into wastewater treatment through the review of relevant literature on bioaugmentation of water treatment processes for pollutants removal. Having reviewed more than 90 papers in this area, it highlights that bioremediation in WWTPs can be employed through bioaugmentation of secondary biological treatment systems, particularly the aerobic conventional activated sludge, sequencing batch reactor, membrane bioreactor and rotating biological contactor. The efficiency of microplastics removal, however, is influenced by the types and forms of microorganisms used, the polymer types and the incubation time (100% for polycaprolactone with Streptomyces thermoviolaceus and 0.76% for low-density polyethylene with Acinetobacter iwoffii). Bioaugmentation of anaerobic system, though possible, is constrained by comparatively less anaerobic microplastics-degrading microorganisms identified. In tertiary system, bioremediation through biological activated carbon and biological aerated filter can be accomplished and enzymatic membrane reactor can be added to the system for deployment of biocatalysts. During sludge treatment, bioaugmentation and addition of enzymes to composting and anaerobic digestion are potential ways to enhance microplastics breakdown. Limitations of bioremediation in wastewater treatment include longer degradation time of microplastics, incomplete biodegradation, variable efficiency, specific microbial activities and uncertainty in colonization. This paper provides important insight into the practical applications of bioremediation in wastewater treatment for microplastics removal.
Note12 month embargo; published: 29 September 2022
VersionFinal accepted manuscript