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Marine Pollution Bulletin
Volume 156, 2020, 111252

Bioremediation as a promising strategy for microplastics removal in wastewater treatment plants

Paula Masiáa,1, Daniel Solb,1, Alba Arduraa, Amanda Lacab, Yaisel J.Borrella, Eduardo Dopicoc, Adriana Lacab, Gonzalo Machado-Schiaffinoa, Mario Díazb, Eva Garcia-Vazqueza

Department of Functional Biology, University of Oviedo, Spain.


Microplastics (MPs) attract ever-increasing attention due to environmental concerns. Nowadays, they are ubiquitous across ecosystems, and research demonstrates that the origin is mainly terrestrial. Wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) are a major source of MPs, especially fibres, in water masses. This review is focused on understanding the evolution and fate of microplastics during wastewater treatment processes with the aim of identifying advanced technologies to eliminate microplastics from the water stream. Among them, bioremediation has been highlighted as a promising tool, but confinement of microorganisms inside the WWTP is still a challenge. The potential for MPs bioremediation in WWTPs of higher aquatic eukaryotes, which offer the advantages of low dispersion rates and being easy to contain, is reviewed. Animals, seagrasses and macrophytes are considered, taking into account ecoethical and biological issues. Necessary research and its challenges have been identified.

Keywords: Bioremediation; Eukaryotes; Microplastics; Sludge; Technologies; Wastewater.

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