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Pharmaceuticals – improved removal from municipal wastewater and their occurrence in the Baltic Sea
KTH, School of Engineering Sciences in Chemistry, Biotechnology and Health (CBH), Industrial Biotechnology.
2018 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Pharmaceutical residues are found in the environment due to extensive use in human and veterinary medicine. The active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) have a potential impact in non-target organisms. Municipal wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) are not designed to remove APIs.

In this thesis, two related matters are addressed 1) evaluation of advanced treatment to remove APIs from municipal wastewater and 2) the prevalence and degradation of APIs in the Baltic Sea.

A stationary pilot plant with nanofiltration (NF) and a mobile pilot plant with activated carbon and ozonation were designed to study the removal of APIs at four WWTPs. By NF, removal reached 90%, but the retentate needed further treatment. A predictive model of the rejection of APIs by NF was developed based on the variables: polarizability, globularity, ratio hydrophobic to polar water accessible surface and charge. The pilot plants with granular and powdered activated carbon (GAC) and (PAC) removed more than 95% of the APIs. Screening of activated carbon products was essential, because of a broad variation in adsorption capacity. Recirculation of PAC or longer contact time, increased the removal of APIs. Ozonation with 5-7 g/m3 ozone resulted in 87-95% removal of APIs. Elevated activity and transcription of biomarkers indicated presence of xenobiotics in regular effluent. Chemical analysis of APIs, together with analysis of biomarkers, were valuable and showed that GAC-filtration and ozonation can be implemented to remove APIs in WWTPs, with decreased biomarker responses.

Sampling of the Baltic Sea showed presence of APIs in 41 out of 43 locations. A developed grey box model predicted concentration and half-life of carbamazepine in the Baltic Sea to be 1.8 ng/L and 1300 d respectively.

In conclusion, APIs were removed to 95% by GAC or PAC treatment. The additional treatment resulted in lower biomarker responses than today and some APIs were shown to be widespread in the aquatic environment.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2018. , p. 150
Series
TRITA-CBH-FOU ; 2018-62
Keywords [en]
Advanced wastewater treatment, WWTP, pilot plant, pharmaceutical residues, removal of pharmaceuticals, activated carbon, ozonation, nanofiltration, biomarker, Baltic Sea
National Category
Bioprocess Technology
Research subject
Biotechnology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-239307ISBN: 978-91-7873-047-6 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-239307DiVA, id: diva2:1264354
Public defence
2018-12-20, F3, Lindstedtsvägen 26, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Funder
Mistra - The Swedish Foundation for Strategic Environmental Research, MistraPharma
Note

QC 20181120

Available from: 2018-11-20 Created: 2018-11-20 Last updated: 2018-11-20Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Pharmaceutical residues are widespread in Baltic Sea coastal and offshore waters – Screening for pharmaceuticals and modelling of environmental concentrations of carbamazepine
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Pharmaceutical residues are widespread in Baltic Sea coastal and offshore waters – Screening for pharmaceuticals and modelling of environmental concentrations of carbamazepine
Show others...
2018 (English)In: Science of the Total Environment, ISSN 0048-9697, E-ISSN 1879-1026, Vol. 633, p. 1496-1509Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The consumption of pharmaceuticals worldwide coupled with modest removal efficiencies of sewage treatment plants have resulted in the presence of pharmaceuticals in aquatic systems globally. In this study, we investigated the environmental concentrations of a selection of 93 pharmaceuticals in 43 locations in the Baltic Sea and Skagerrak. The Baltic Sea is vulnerable to anthropogenic activities due to a long turnover time and a sensitive ecosystem in the brackish water. Thirty-nine of 93 pharmaceuticals were detected in at least one sample, with concentrations ranging between 0.01 and 80 ng/L. One of the pharmaceuticals investigated, the anti-epileptic drug carbamazepine, was widespread in coastal and offshore seawaters (present in 37 of 43 samples). In order to predict concentrations of pharmaceuticals in the sub-basins of the Baltic Sea, a mass balance-based grey box model was set up and the persistent, widely used carbamazepine was selected as the model substance. The model was based on hydrological and meteorological sub-basin characteristics, removal data from smaller watersheds and wastewater treatment plants, and statistics relating to population, consumption and excretion rate of carbamazepine in humans. The grey box model predicted average environmental concentrations of carbamazepine in sub-basins with no significant difference from the measured concentrations, amounting to 0.57-3.2 ng/L depending on sub-basin location. In the Baltic Sea, the removal rate of carbamazepine in seawater was estimated to be 6.2 10(-9) s(-1) based on a calculated half-life time of 3.5 years at 10 degrees C, which demonstrates the long response time of the environment to measures phasing out persistent or slowly degradable substances such as carbamazepine. Sampling, analysis and grey box modelling were all valuable in describing the presence and removal of carbamazepine in the Baltic Sea.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2018
Keywords
Baltic Sea, Carbamazepine, Coastal and offshore waters, Half-life time, Model, Pharmaceuticals
National Category
Environmental Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-227511 (URN)10.1016/j.scitotenv.2018.03.276 (DOI)000432475300145 ()29758901 (PubMedID)2-s2.0-85044791102 (Scopus ID)
Funder
Mistra - The Swedish Foundation for Strategic Environmental Research
Note

QC 20180516

Available from: 2018-05-16 Created: 2018-05-16 Last updated: 2018-11-26Bibliographically approved
2. A PLS model for predicting rejection of trace organic compounds by nanofiltration using treated wastewater as feed
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A PLS model for predicting rejection of trace organic compounds by nanofiltration using treated wastewater as feed
2017 (English)In: Separation and Purification Technology, ISSN 1383-5866, E-ISSN 1873-3794, Vol. 174, p. 212-221Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In this study a Partial Least Squares Projection of Latent Structures (PLS) model has been developed for predicting the rejection of pharmaceutical residuals by nanofiltration (NF) using treated municipal wastewater as feed. The objective was to provide a practical tool for wastewater reuse facilities for estimating the rejection of emerging organic contaminants based on their physiochemical characteristics. The model was developed by identifying the important physiochemical properties of pharmaceutical residuals for rejection by NF. The investigated pharmaceuticals were those present in the effluent from Henriksdal wastewater treatment plant (WWTP), Sweden. The rejection, at volume reduction factors (VRF) ranging from 2 to 20, was examined in a NF pilot plant at two occasions. The important variables for rejection by NF were, in descending order: polarizability, globularity, ratio hydrophobic to polar water accessible surface area and compound charge. Two studies were performed with a time interval of about a year with different wastewater matrices and age of membranes. For different VRFs, but in the same study, the model produced consistent predicted rejections. For the same VRF, but in the different studies, the regression lines were almost parallel, but with a deviation of about 7% for the predicted values. Most of the compounds were within the 95% prediction interval. The model also proved to be able to predict rejection using data from the literature. This confirms that the predictive PLS model can estimate the rejection albeit, with limitations. Generally the proposed predictive rejection model is most likely valid but the model coefficients need to be determined for each individual WWTP or wastewater reuse facility.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2017
Keywords
Nanofiltration, Pharmaceuticals, PLS model, Wastewater reuse
National Category
Other Civil Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-202084 (URN)10.1016/j.seppur.2016.10.029 (DOI)2-s2.0-84993971336 (Scopus ID)
Note

QC 20170217

Available from: 2017-02-17 Created: 2017-02-17 Last updated: 2018-11-26Bibliographically approved
3. Pilot-scale removal of pharmaceuticals in municipal wastewater: Comparison of granular and powdered activated carbon treatment at three wastewater treatment plants
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Pilot-scale removal of pharmaceuticals in municipal wastewater: Comparison of granular and powdered activated carbon treatment at three wastewater treatment plants
2017 (English)In: Journal of Environmental Management, ISSN 0301-4797, E-ISSN 1095-8630, Vol. 193, no -1, p. 491-502Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Adsorption with activated carbon is widely suggested as an option for the removal of organic micropollutants including pharmaceutically active compounds (PhACs) in wastewater. In this study adsorption with granular activated carbon (GAC) and powdered activated carbon (PAC) was analyzed and compared in parallel operation at three Swedish wastewater treatment plants with the goal to achieve a 95% PhAC removal. Initially, mapping of the prevalence of over 100 substances was performed at each plant and due to low concentrations a final 22 were selected for further evaluation. These include carbamazepine, clarithromycin and diclofenac, which currently are discussed for regulation internationally. A number of commercially available activated carbon products were initially screened using effluent wastewater. Of these, a reduced set was selected based on adsorption characteristics and cost. Experiments designed with the selected carbons in pilot-scale showed that most products could indeed remove PhACs to the target level, both on total and individual basis. In a setup using internal recirculation the PAC system achieved a 95% removal applying a fresh dose of 15–20 mg/L, while carbon usage rates for the GAC application were much broader and ranged from <28 to 230 mg/L depending on the carbon product. The performance of the PAC products generally gave better results for individual PhACs in regards to carbon availability. All carbon products showed a specific adsorption for a specific PhAC meaning that knowledge of the target pollutants must be acquired before successful design of a treatment system. In spite of different configurations and operating conditions of the different wastewater treatment plants no considerable differences regarding pharmaceutical removal were observed.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Academic Press, 2017
Keywords
Adsorption, Advanced wastewater treatment, Municipal wastewater, PAC, Pharmaceuticals, Recirculation
National Category
Water Treatment
Research subject
Biotechnology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-195703 (URN)10.1016/j.jenvman.2017.02.042 (DOI)000397687100049 ()2-s2.0-85014089196 (Scopus ID)
Projects
Mistra Pharma
Note

QC 20161124

Available from: 2016-11-08 Created: 2016-11-08 Last updated: 2018-11-26Bibliographically approved
4. Effects of recirculation in a three-tank pilot-scale system for pharmaceutical removal with powdered activated carbon
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Effects of recirculation in a three-tank pilot-scale system for pharmaceutical removal with powdered activated carbon
2017 (English)In: Journal of Environmental Management, ISSN 0301-4797, E-ISSN 1095-8630, Vol. 193, no May, p. 163-Environmental Impact Optimization of Reinforced Concrete Slab Frame BridgesArticle, review/survey (Refereed) Accepted
Abstract [en]

The removal of pharmaceutically active compounds by powdered activated carbon (PAC) in municipal wastewater is a promising solution to the problem of polluted recipient waters. Today, an efficient design strategy is however lacking with regard to high-level overall, and specific, substance removal in the large scale. The performance of PAC-based removal of pharmaceuticals was studied in pilot-scale with respect to the critical parameters; contact time and PAC dose using one PAC product selected by screening in bench-scale. The goal was a minimum of 95% removal of the pharmaceuticals present in the evaluated municipal wastewater. A set of 21 pharmaceuticals was selected from an initial 100 due to their high occurrence in the effluent water of two selected wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) in Sweden, whereof candidates discussed for future EU regulation directives were included. By using recirculation of PAC over a treatment system using three sequential contact tanks, a combination of the benefits of powdered and granular carbon performance was achieved. The treatment system was designed so that recirculation could be introduced to any of the three tanks to investigate the effect of recirculation on the adsorption performance. This was compared to use of the setup, but without recirculation. A higher degree of pharmaceutical removal was achieved in all recirculation setups, both overall and with respect to specific substances, as compared to without recirculation. Recirculation was tested with nominal contact times of 30, 60 and 120 min and the goal of 95% removal could be achieved already at the shortest contact times at a PAC dose of 10–15 mg/L. In particular, the overall removal could be increased even to 97% and 99%, at 60 and 120 min, respectively, when the recirculation point was the first tank. Recirculation of PAC to either the first or the second contact tank proved to be comparable, while a slightly lower performance was observed with recirculation to the third tank. With regards to individual substances, clarithromycin and diclofenac were ubiquitously removed according to the set goal and in contrast, a few substances (fluconazole, irbesartan, memantine and venlafaxine) required specific settings to reach an acceptable removal.

Keywords
Adsorption, Advanced wastewater treatment, Municipal wastewater, PAC, Pharmaceuticals, Recirculation
National Category
Water Treatment
Research subject
Biotechnology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-195707 (URN)10.1016/j.jenvman.2017.01.078 (DOI)000397687100018 ()2-s2.0-85013040903 (Scopus ID)
Projects
Mistra Pharma
Note

QC 20170314

Available from: 2016-11-08 Created: 2016-11-08 Last updated: 2018-11-26Bibliographically approved
5. Removal of pharmaceuticals and unspecified contaminants in sewage treatment effluents by activated carbon filtration and ozonation: Evaluation using biomarker responses and chemical analysis
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Removal of pharmaceuticals and unspecified contaminants in sewage treatment effluents by activated carbon filtration and ozonation: Evaluation using biomarker responses and chemical analysis
Show others...
2017 (English)In: Chemosphere, ISSN 0045-6535, E-ISSN 1879-1298, Vol. 176, p. 342-351Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Traces of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) and other chemicals are demonstrated in effluents from sewage treatment plants (STPs) and they may affect quality of surface water and eventually drinking water. Treatment of effluents with granular activated carbon (GAC) or ozone to improve removal of APIs and other contaminants was evaluated at two Swedish STPs, Käppala and Uppsala (88 and 103 APIs analyzed). Biomarker responses in rainbow trout exposed to regular and additionally treated effluents were determined. GAC and ozone treatment removed 87–95% of the total concentrations of APIs detected. In Käppala, GAC removed 20 and ozonation (7 g O3/m3) 21 of 24 APIs detected in regular effluent. In Uppsala, GAC removed 25 and ozonation (5.4 g O3/m3) 15 of 25 APIs detected in effluent. GAC and ozonation also reduced biomarker responses caused by unidentified pollutants in STP effluent water. Elevated ethoxyresorufin-O-deethylase (EROD) activity in gills was observed in fish exposed to effluent in both STPs. Gene expression analysis carried out in Käppala showed increased concentrations of cytochrome P450 (CYP1As and CYP1C3) transcripts in gills and of CYP1As in liver of fish exposed to effluent. In fish exposed to GAC- or ozone-treated effluent water, gill EROD activity and expression of CYP1As and CYP1C3 in gills and liver were generally equal to or below levels in fish held in tap water. The joint application of chemical analysis and sensitive biomarkers proved useful for evaluating contaminant removal in STPs with new technologies.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier Ltd, 2017
Keywords
Activated carbon, Biomarkers, Ozonation, Pharmaceuticals, Rainbow trout, Wastewater
National Category
Electrical Engineering, Electronic Engineering, Information Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-207305 (URN)10.1016/j.chemosphere.2017.02.127 (DOI)000399849300039 ()2-s2.0-85014414522 (Scopus ID)
Note

QC 20170613

Available from: 2017-06-13 Created: 2017-06-13 Last updated: 2018-11-26Bibliographically approved

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