Advances in Chemical Pollution, Environmental Management and Protection, Volume 9 - Chapter 4: Biological methods for the removal of microplastics from water

Elsevier, Advances in Chemical Pollution, Environmental Management and Protection, Volume 9, 2022
Amjad M., Intisar A., Afzal A., Hussain N., Bilal M.

Excessive use of plastic without its proper disposal in recent years has made plastic-pollution a seriously growing global concern. Low disintegration rates of microplastics make their removal inevitable. Particularly in water, it needs immediate considerations and measures due to its adverse effects on humans and marine biota. This chapter encompasses an overview of various biological methods for removing microplastics from water. These methods include biodegradation of microplastic contaminants by algae, fungi, bacteria, enzymes, zooplankton, sea clams, corals and marine microorganisms like archaeans and eukaryotes. Moreover, bio-polymers like lignin, cellulose, chitin and starch are also used for their elimination by the formation of larger flocs which are later removed. Among all, adsorption by sea weed microalgae, Fucus vesiculosus, the modified starch biopolymers, ingestion by marine organisms like Red Sea giant clams and marine fungus, Zalerion maritimum were found to be highly effective for plastic degradation. Thus, apart from chemical methods, novel biological approaches need to be adopted to lessen these lethal environmental effects of plastic pollution.