Microplastics and the water industry: studying source, transfer and fate within the microplastic cycle

Lead Research Organisation: University of Exeter
Department Name: Geography


Project Overview: The media is full of concerns regarding the impact of microplastics on the environment. There is concern that microplastics, present in the biosolids that are produced in wastewater treatment plants and which are routinely applied to land, may accumulate in the soil with unknown effects. At present there is a lack of evidence to determine potential impacts. This PhD, supervised by soil science, ecohydrology and microplastic experts, together with South West Water, will generate that evidence.
Novelty of the Project: This project is novel as it combines ecotoxicology, soil science, geomorphology and hydrology to determine whether the presence of microplastics in biosolids that are applied to land is likely to pose a significant risk to the ecosystem services delivered by soils or whether those microplastics are likely to accumulate in the soil or move into aquatic systems.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
NE/V013041/1 30/09/2021 29/09/2027
2580890 Studentship NE/V013041/1 30/09/2021 30/07/2025 Thilakshani Atugoda