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TU Berlin

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Structure – Interdisciplinary topic “sources, sinks, and balances”

During the project, targeted sampling of water bodies will generate insights and quantitative data for the identification of sources and sinks of microplastics, starting with preliminary mass balances. The data will be collected on sampling campaigns at selected areas of the urban water cycle in Berlin and from water body as well as sediment samples of the rivers Spree and Havel. Furthermore, microplastic particles will be examined regarding their attrition state and, accordingly, their age. The content of additive agents can provide information on the usage and therefore the origin of microplastics. This organic analysis can be complemented by element-specific analysis.

Within project section A, the methods for microplastics analytics will be newly or further developed and thus, will not be available from the beginning of the project. However, many sub-projects within section A have already established laboratory methods. Therefore, rapid advancements in method development can be expected on the one hand. On the other hand, preliminary examinations aiming at the identification of water body subsections for balancing can be conducted. Thus, the initiation of the source and sink identification is not obliged to await the completion of the methodic work packages.

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