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Tracking Microplastics from Artificial Football Fields to Stormwater Systems
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography.
2019 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Microplastic pollution as a global environment problem in marine systems has substantially raised public concern in recent years. In 2016, the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency performed a study about potential sources and pathways of microplastics spreading to the marine environment. Microplastics from artificial turfs have been recognized as the second most important source of microplastic emission in Sweden. Between 1640 to 2460 tons per year of microplastics are estimated to be lost from artificial turfs. The lost microplastics are potentially transported to stormwater wells by runoff during rainfall events, eventually reaching marine environments. This study aims to track microplastics from artificial turfs to stormwater wells.

Since the research of microplastic in stormwater has so far shown to be limited, field work and laboratory analysis have been developed in this study. Four artificial football fields located in Stockholm municipality were taken as sampling sites. First, pathways for microplastics from artificial turfs to stormwater were investigated. Second, the characteristics of microplastic granulates infill used in the football fields have been analyzed. Finally, stereo microscopy was used to visually identify microplastics in stormwater.

The results showed that rainfall as a driving force of runoff process contributes to microplastics transport from artificial turfs to stormwater. During this transport process, a fraction of microplastics is captured by the soil. The size of microplastic granulates identified not only in stormwater but also in stormwater sediments is typically between 1 mm to 3 mm. Due to its limitations, stereo microscopy is quite a subjective method for identifying microplastics and thus not suitable for quantitative analysis, since microplastic particles are comparable in size to and visually difficult to differentiate from organic particles co-occurring in stormwater.

In order to accurately quantify the amounts of microplastics transported to stormwater systems from artificial turfs, it is necessary to develop new methods for microplastics identification. This study presented an attempt in this direction, highlights its limitations, and discusses more suitable alternatives.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. , p. 39
Keywords [en]
microplastics, artificial turfs, stormwater, runoff, rainfall, Sweden
National Category
Physical Geography
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-170290OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-170290DiVA, id: diva2:1330304
External cooperation
WSP Sverige AB
Presentation
2019-06-11, U26, Department of Physical Geography, Stockholm University, Stockholm, 15:00 (English)
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2019-09-09 Created: 2019-06-25 Last updated: 2019-09-09Bibliographically approved

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4445464748495047 of 110
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Citation style
  • apa
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