How to remove drugs and metabolites from wastewater treatment

January 23, 2020
January 23, 2020 admin

OXIE-3D – A New Project of Research & Development

Advances of analytical methodologies made possible the detection of pharmaceuticals and metabolites in the environment. Therefore, the scientific community became more concerned about the effects both in aquatic organisms and in human health. The major source of the entry of pharmaceuticals (and metabolites) into the environment is by their excretion.

There is evidence that conventional wastewater treatment plants do not efficiently remove most of these compounds. An effective and sustainable tertiary treatment is needed to remove drugs and metabolites from wastewater treatment.

The three-dimensional (3D) electrochemical process is efficient in the removal of substances resistant to biological treatments. It differs from the two-dimensional process due to the inclusion of a third particulate electrode. The particles act as individual microelectrodes, increasing efficiency due to the simultaneous contribution of different phenomena, adsorption/electrosorption, electrocoagulation, oxidation, and catalytic degradation.

Due to this complex process on how to remove drugs and metabolites from wastewater treatment, there is the need to study it in depth before its application at industrial scale, since it is seldom used.

The project Oxi-e3D will allow developing an efficient, cost-effective and sustainable solution to be used in the removal of pharmaceutical products from wastewaters. Also, it will contribute to better theoretical and practical knowledge of the 3D electrochemical process as a solution for wastewater treatment.

The project will last for 3 years and will involve the teams of ISEP (Instituto Superior de Engenharia do Porto) and the R&D department of VentilAQUA. The success of this project will contribute to the complementary skills and knowledge of the teams involved.

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