Permeable pavements: A possible sink for tyre wear particles and other microplastics?

Lasse Abraham Rasmussen*, Jeanette Lykkemark, Theis Raaschou Andersen, Jes Vollertsen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)
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In this study, seven roads and parking lots were sampled by a road surface cleaning truck and approximately 100 kg of particulate material was collected per site. Thereafter, the samples were analysed for microplastics, including tyre wear particles. The analyses revealed that tyre wear constituted 0.09 % of the dry mass of the samples on average. Other plastic types were also identified in the samples, but at on average 49 times lower concentrations compared to tyre wear particles. Although the roads and parking lots were used for residential, industrial, and commercial purposes, no correlation between land use and the total concentrations of microplastics was identified. Of microplastics other than tyre wear particles, polypropylene constituted an important fraction in all samples, whereas other polymers were present at various degrees. The contents of heavy metals, sulphur, and total organic carbon were also measured in the samples, but no correlation between them and microplastics was determined. A back-of-the-envelope estimation indicated that the tyre wear material retained by permeable pavements constituted a non-negligible fraction of the total mass of microplastics released on roads and parking lots. Therefore, permeable pavements can serve as a tool for the management of this pollutant.

Original languageEnglish
Article number161770
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Publication statusPublished - 15 Apr 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was co-funded by Lemvig Vand A/S, NCC Industry A/S, Coast to Coast Climate Challenge, and VIA University College. We gratefully acknowledge NCC Industry A/S for collecting the samples and Lemvig Vand A/S for designing and constructing the sedimentation tank.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Authors


  • FTIR
  • Microplastics
  • Permeable pavement
  • Py-GC/MS
  • Road dust
  • Tyre wear particle


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