LIFE PharmDegrade - Degradation of pharmaceuticals in wastewaters from nursing homes and hospitals

LIFE PharmDegrade - Degradation of pharmaceuticals in wastewaters from nursing homes and hospitals

The project’s general objective is to introduce an efficient and financially viable technology for the removal of pharmaceuticals (PH) from the effluent of wastewater treatment plants. The technology is based on the advanced oxidation processes (AOP) associated with electrochemical degradation of PH, using different electrodes (graphite electrodes, mixed metal oxide electrodes and boron-doped diamond electrodes). AOP processes are based on generation of hydroxyl radicals (OH); OH radicals are powerful oxidisers capable of oxidative decomposition of practically all known organic pollutants and microbes; they are appropriate for the removal of heavily degradable pollutants from waters. Unlike noxious fluoride radicals the OH radicals have a short viability period and are, therefore, safe to use.

The project will demonstrate technology on a sufficiently large scale to fully evaluate its effectiveness and economic viability. The aim is to demonstrate a solution that it is applicable to all wastewater containing PH and other persistent substances, which also include wastewater from old people’s homes and hospitals in the EU. At the same time it is a flexible technology, suitable for different applications, with low maintenance costs and high efficiency.

Expected results: The main expected result will be the development and demonstration of cost-effective technologies with low operating and maintenance costs, which will be applicable to all nursing homes and hospitals, as well as the development of an effective protocol for efficient wastewater treatment with persistent substances for other end-users. The design and operation of a new treatment system – setting up a modular approach, which includes biological, physical and electrochemical systems with up to 90% removal efficiency of selected pharmaceuticals.

The project will also contribute to the improvement of knowledge in the area of occurrence and interactions of pharmaceuticals in wastewaters and thus contribute to the development of standards and legislation in the field of emerging pollutants.

Project Manager: Marko GERL

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