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2022 STEP Webinar: Effects of Pavement Degradation on the Generation of Microplastics in Stormwater
By Sara Finnimore

Urban stormwater runoff has been found to be a pathway for microplastics into the downstream environment. Within this pathway, many sources of microplastics exist including two sources of interest: tire wear, a confirmed source, and the wear and tear of pavement, a potential source. In this presentation, Kelsey Smyth will present work about the effects of pavement degradation on microplastics generation in stormwater between pavement types including asphalt, concrete, and recycled rubber. I will compare microplastic characteristics between pavement types from both field-derived stormwater samples and pavement samples which will undergo specialized mechanical testing to simulate tire abrasion with pavement. It is expected that microplastic quantities and polymer types will differ between pavements due to differences in pavement and catchment characteristics such as pavement friction and traffic loads. Results from this study may have implications for pavement sustainability practices such as the use of polymer additives and material choice for parking lots and roadways from an environmental perspective.

December 01
12:00pm - 1:00pm (EST)