Sound waves used to separate microplastics from laundry wastewater

Good News Notes:

“The world’s oceans are currently under threat not only from large pieces of plastic trash, but also from minuscule “microplastic” particles – many of which take the form of fibers that are shed by synthetic fabrics as they’re being washed. A new system uses sound to help capture those fibers at their source.”

“First of all, scientists have already developed filters that help to remove microplastic fibers from the wastewater that drains out of washing machines. Such filters usually have to be cleaned or replaced, however, plus their pores do allow particularly small fibers to pass through.”

“With these limitations in mind, researchers at Japan’s Shinshu University have designed what’s known as a bulk acoustic wave (BAW) system. It starts with a central stream of microplastic-fiber-laden wastewater, that forks into three separate channels. Just upstream of the forking point, a piezoelectric device is used to apply acoustic waves from either side of the central stream, creating a standing acoustic wave in its middle.”

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