Posted on 12 June 2019

Characterising export of land-based microplastics to the estuary – Part II

Part II: Sensitivity analysis of an integrated geospatial microplastic transport modelling assessment of tire and road wear particles

In March 2017, ETRMA commissioned a study to Cardno Chemrisk / Deltares aiming to build the necessary knowledge about the distribution and retention of TRWP in freshwater up to the estuary. The results of the study on Tyre and Road Wear Particles environmental fate assessment have been published in the peer-reviewed scientific journal Science of the Total Environment.

The study shows the results of the mass balance for several scenarios varying most relevant parameters affecting the fate and transportation of the particles in the freshwater. The results of the probabilistic model indicate that only 2% to 5% of TRWP released may reach the estuaries. The most important parameters affecting the transportation of the TRWP to the estuary are their diameter and density. This means there is a high potential for appreciable capture and retention of TRWP prior to reaching the freshwater or even the estuary.