PhD project - Impact of microplastics on soil nutrients
The presence of MPs (<5 mm) in our natural water system is well known. However, the flow of MPs from the source to our environment through the water cycle, into the soil and its impact on soil nutrients are less well quantified. Additionally, a recent study of UK Water Industry Research showed that our water treatment plants are effectively removing MPs but revealed the presence of MPs in the wastewater and sludge treatment line. One-way MPs are finding ways into the soil is land application of sewage sludge and from wastewater discharged into the water bodies. This project will investigate: how MPs move from the wastewater and sludge into our living environment and its impact on soil nutrients, biota and plants. The sampling of water and sediments at the source to the exit point will be carried out to identify flow of MPs in the natural and wastewater systems, interaction of MPs on soil nutrients and impact on soil biota and plants.
Yoseph Araya (Open University), Pallavi Anand (Open University)
Co-I/Project partner: Wesley Fraser (Oxford Brookes/OU)
Project partners: Peter Vale (Severn-Trent Water), Kate Salmon (Met Office)