Removal of Microplastics from the Water Cycle (OEMP)

Optimised materials and methods for microplastic particle removal from the water cycle

The OEMP project is dedicated to developing materials and methods which will help to retain microplastic particles (MP) originating from diverse pathways of the urban water cycle. In addition, simple and natural systems such as soil filters are to be analysed with regard to their retention efficiency.

In order to validate the retention of MP, KWB will carry out pilot tests at a Berlin WWTP under real conditions using filter materials already developed such as Pile Cloth Media Filtration and mesh screens. The aim is to quantify the actual retention degrees of MP on a pilot scale, to determine the impact of the operating conditions and to optimise the operation. Besides the retention of MP also general wastewater-related chemical parameters such as suspended solids or turbidity are specified in order to identify possible correlations allowing for an operational control without expensive analytics.

Based on existing and new measurements, KWB will develop a model illustrating the mass flow of MP in Berlin’s wastewater path. The aim is to compare different pathways with regard to the emissions of MP such as WWTP effluent, combined sewer overflows and stormwater runoffs providing a better basis for decisions on measures to minimise the MP emissions to surface water bodies.

The project has been finalised.

All Final Reports of the project partners can be downloaded from the following links:


Selected publications produced in the OEMP project are available here.

Project partners



Press and Media

  • Unterwegs mit Plastikjägern

    The film "Unterwegs mit Plastikjägern" ("On the road with plastic hunters") accompanies the scientists of the OEMP project during their work on microplastic particles from tire abrasion or clothes made of synthetic fibres and documents the studies carried out at the pilot plant for microplastic particles removal at WWTP Ruhleben site, operated by KWB.