Mitigating tire wear particles and tire additive chemicals in stormwater with permeable pavements

Sci Total Environ. 2024 Jan 15:908:168236. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2023.168236. Epub 2023 Nov 7.


6PPD-quinone (6PPDQ) is a recently discovered chemical that is acutely toxic to coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch) and can form via environmental exposure of 6PPD, a compound found extensively in tire wear particles (TWPs). TWPs deposited on roads are transported to aquatic ecosystems via stormwater, contributing to microplastic pollution and organic contaminant loads. However, little is known about the fate of TWPs and their leachable contaminants in these systems. We conducted three experiments at a high school in Tacoma, Washington, to quantify the treatment performance of permeable pavement (PP) formulations, a type of green stormwater infrastructure (GSI), for TWPs and ten tire-associated contaminants, including 6PPDQ. The PPs comprised concrete and asphalt, with and without cured carbon fibers, to improve the mechanical properties of PPs. Pavements were artificially dosed and had underdrains to capture effluent. Three experiments were conducted to evaluate PP mitigation of tire-associated pollution using cryomilled tire particles (cTPs). The 1st and 3rd experiments established a baseline for TWPs and contaminants and assessed the potential for continued pollutant release. During experiment 2, cTPs were applied to each pavement. Our results showed that the PPs attenuated >96 % of the deposited cTPs mass. An estimated 52-100 % of potentially leachable 6PPDQ was removed by the PP systems between the influent and effluent sampling stations. Background 6PPDQ concentrations in effluents ranged from 0 to 0.0029 μg/L. Effluent 6PPDQ concentrations were not explained by effluent TWP concentrations in experiments 1 or 2 but were significantly correlated in experiment 3, suggesting that leaching of 6PPDQ from TWPs retained in the pavement was minimal during a subsequent storm. Our results suggest that PPs may be an effective form of GSI for mitigating tire-associated stormwater pollution. The improved strength offered by cured carbon fiber-amended pavements extends PP deployment on high-traffic roadways where tire-associated pollution poses the greatest environmental risk.

Keywords: 6PPD-quinone; Green stormwater infrastructure; Microplastics; Permeable pavements; Stormwater; Tire wear particles.