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Entwicklung Neuer Kunststoffe für eine Saubere Umwelt unter Bestimmung Relevanter Eintragspfade (ENSURE)

Project number:
Project director:
Martin Kaupenjohann
Frederick Büks
Institut für Kunststofftechnik (IKT), Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung
und –prüfung (BAM), Deutsches GeoForschungsZentrum GFZ, Umweltbundesamt (UBA), Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS), Institut für Umweltsystemforschung (IUSF)


The joint project ENSURE is part of the BMBF funding "Plastik in der Umwelt" within the funding program NaWaM and the framework program FONA³. The work package 3.4 investigates transport, degradability and occlusion of microplastic particles within the soil structure. These factors are assumed to be crucial for bioavailability as well as the formation of soil structure, which is an important marker of soil quality. During the structuring process, soil organic matter is occluded within aggregates and contributes to the bonding of primary particles. Microplastic particles in soil have a size spectrum similar to organic litter occluded within soil aggregates, but have different physico-chemical properties. It is therefore uncertain whether they are occluded in soil aggregates, what their effect on soil structural stability is and which role microbial colonization plays in microplastic occlusion. Furthermore, micro-plastic particles influence the activity of earthworms, whose digestion and excretion plays an essential role in the formation of the soil structure. It can therefore be assumed that microplastics in the soil have an influence on the soil structure both through the influence of the edaphone and through occlusion within soil aggregates, and that the soil structure in turn influences the residence time of the microplastics in the soil.

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