Performance of filters applied for removal of microplastics from water – testing methodology

Aleksandra Bogdanowicz, Andrzej Ryszard Krasiński, Monika Żubrowska-Sudoł

The separation of microplastics from water using the filtration process was studied in this work. The deep-bed filter media were made of polypropylene using the melt-blown technique. The separation
performance of these filters was compared to the pleated cellulose elements (surface filtration) for the prepared suspension of fragmented polystyrene particles. No pretreatment nor additives to
enhance the separation process were applied upstream the filtration unit. With the increased filter efficiency (rating of depth filters ranging from 20 to 5 μ), the cut-off dimeter of removed microplastic
also decreased. The experiments confirmed that deep bed filtration is capable to remove efficiently very fine microplastic particles (as small as 1 μ), while maintaining relatively low pressure
drop. The capacity of the deep bed filter will guarantee relatively long operation time for suspensions having a low concentration of MPs, however in real process this will probably be predominantly
affected by the simultaneous deposition of other solid contaminants present in the water.

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