Remediation of Microplastic Pollution to Restore and Revive Freshwater Habitats and Ecosystems Initiative

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Extraction of Microplastics in the Primary Clarifier of Wastewater Treatment Plants

Mitigating Microplastics Pollution of the Ottawa River from Municipal Waste Water

Biological Engineering of Ideonella sakaiensis PETase for Degradation of Microplastics

Sampling, Pretreatment, and Characterization of Microplastics in Water, Organisms and Biota

Emerging Contaminants in Canadian Wastewater systems

BioEnvo team was inspired to create a mechanical system that extracts microplastics, which have been bonded to magnetite to create a ferrofluid, using a magnet and sends these newly formed magnetic microplastics onto further treatment stages to be processed and later eliminated. This method could theoretically remove 4.15 billion microplastic fragments per day and prevent harmful micropollutants from ever entering precious ecosystems and into the fundamental food web.

The objective of this literature review was to determine which parameters are currently in place in the Ottawa region to prevent microplastics (MPs) from entering the Ottawa River, and provide recommendations on how they could be improved. During this research, several experts were contacted on the subject and hundreds of scientific articles were reviewed. It was determined that the greatest source of microplastics is washing machines.

Microplastic pollution in freshwater systems, specifically the Ottawa River, is a prevalent environmental issue. Microplastics can accumulate in biological systems and affect both ecosystem and human health. The Microplastic Degradation sub-team’s goal was to find a biological solution that could degrade these microplastics. The most feasible option to accomplish this goal is to use the PETase gene from Ideonella sakaiensis. This gene encodes for an enzyme that degrades PET into MHET monomers.

This project provides a review of current methods used for sampling, pretreatment, and characterization of microplastics, while providing possible alternatives and comparisons between the most common methods.

Emerging contaminants (ECs) are compounds that persist throughout the wastewater treatment process and end up in various water bodies. While there are no current regulations for them, research has shown that continued neglect of ECs can negatively impact the environment, animals, and humans. Meetings with various municipalities across Ontario indicate the need for a solution to combat this issue. More stringent effluent quality standards must be imposed to ensure water safety across the province. We propose that action must be taken by the provincial government in order to increase funding and testing to identify these ECs.