Microplastics (MPs) are defined as small plastic debris not exceeding the size of 5 mm. MPs are anthropogenic pollutants the presence of which was recently verified in all environmental compartments, including aquatic environments. The occurrence of MPs in water, particularly in surface water bodies and at drinking water treatment plants, is one of our research topics. Besides the quantification of MPs, we conduct their characterisation in terms of size, shape, and material composition. Owing to the advanced analytical equipment (scanning electron microscopy, µ-Raman spectroscopy), we are able to analyse even MPs as small as 1 µm. Additionally, we assess the efficiency of individual water treatment technologies for the removal of MPs, while the most detailed focus is laid on the coagulation step. We are also interested in the degradation of MPs in aquatic environments and in the associated potential release of compounds from MPs.

Research Activities

  • Quantification and characterisation of MPs in water sources and in drinking water
  • Investigation of the performance of individual water treatment processes for the removal of MPs
  • Research on the optimisation and mechanisms of coagulation of MPs
  • Investigation of the release of dissolved organic carbon, metals, or additives from MPs that are in contact with water