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Global Water Institute earns grant to detect, remove microplastics from wastewater

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Ottawa’s Global Water Institute has received a $230,000, 18-month grant for research to develop solutions for the detection and removal of microplastics and microfibres from freshwater and wastewater systems.

The grant is one of 14 recently issued under the Zero Plastic Waste Initiative from Environment and Climate Change Canada totaling more than $1.8 million over two years.

The microplastics research grant will be under the direction of Dr. Banu Ormeci, a professor in environmental engineering, who is the Jarislowsky Chair in Water and Health, and director of the Global Water Institute at Carleton University.

“This support will maintain the great momentum we’d gathered last year and focus water technology industry attention on the capacity available here in the National Capital Region,” Dr. Ormeci said in a statement. “Carleton University is a leader in water and wastewater research, so it makes sense for the university’s Global Water Institute to drive progress with industry innovators in this challenging new area,” she added.

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In October, the federal government announced the next steps in its single-use plastics ban to achieve zero plastic waste by 2030.

Dr. Ormeci’s research will be geared towards the needs of Canadian technology providers so that research results can “find immediate uptake and applications in the field,” according to the university.

The funds will also support industrial partners with finding new installation sites, such as watershed monitoring stations and treatment plants, through national and international networks.

Other projects under the Zero Plastic Waste Initiative

Another project under the initiative includes Georgian Bay Forever’s efforts to test technologies to capture plastics from entering water. Earlier this year, the group joined 11 marinas across Ontario as part of a pilot project that uses floating seabins that create what amounts to a suction effect to collect plastic waste.

Nature-Action Québec Inc. has also received funding under the Zero Plastic Waste Initiative. Its researchers will use $205,000 to install waste capture nets at municipal sewer outlets to catch plastic litter before it enters the water.

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