Optimization of elutriation device for filtration of microplastic particles from sediment

The increasing presence of plastic pollution in marine ecosystems has become a major concern. In the environment, plastics break down into smaller and smaller pieces of microplastics. Methods of microplastic recovery are needed to reduce the dangers they can pose to a variety of organisms. An elutriation device was manufactured and optimized to achieve maximum microplastic recovery. The parameters flow rate and diameter of elutriation column were varied and their domain of variation was determined. A composite factorial experimental design was generated using MODDE 10.1 and was undergone. The optimal values of flow rate and column diameter were determined to be 385 L h−1 and 5.06 cm respectively, under constraints, to achieve a maximum feasible microplastics recovery percentage of 50.2%. The elutriation process can be improved through further testing, and can be tested in the field to compare its efficiency to that of manual microplastics filtration.

X. Zhu, Marine Pollution Bulletin, Volume 92, Issues 1–2, 15, Pages 69–72, March 2015

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