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Removal of Pharmaceuticals in wastewater
KTH, School of Biotechnology (BIO).
2013 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesisAlternative title
Avskiljning av läkemedel från avloppsvatten (Swedish)
Abstract [en]

Swedish wastewater treatment plants are exposed to many active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) that are released into our waters. On the Swedish market today there are about 1200 APIs. There is a risk that aquatic organisms are negatively affected by the exposure of APIs since there are similarities in the metabolic processes of humans and animals. It has been shown that fishes have become hermaphrodite as infusion of natural human synthetic estrogens which have passed through the WWTPs.

This master thesis is part of a project that is included in MistraPharma phase 2 through KTH who have been given the subject removal of prioritized APIs in wastewater treatment. The aim is to design, operate and evaluate wastewater treatment techniques in pilot and semi-large scale. Earlier the project have been aiming to reduce the infusion of pharmaceuticals to the WWWTP, map out the quantity that is passing through the WWTPs, which APIs that are most harmful and what potential techniques that can be applied.

My master thesis has focused on the potential techniques for removal of APIs from the wastewater. There are many techniques available today, the intention is to evaluate if any new methods have been discovered since the pharaceutical project was finished and the best way of using the most promising techniques. The aim is to remove 0+% of the APIs from the wastewater. The technique used has to be effective in order to reduce the costs. The two most promising techniques, activated carbon and ozone have been evaluated regarding design and choice of starting material. In the evaluation of ozone two different contactors, "bubble diffuser" and "multistage", were compared to reveal which one who gave best results. The trials with activated carbon had the same kind of contactor but activated carbons of different origins were used these were Swedish barbecue coal from deciduous tree and pyrolysis of sludge, asa reference Filtrasorb 400 was used. In lab scale seven different activated carbons were graded depending on their adsorption capacity, the two best was selected for further trials and compared to Filtrasorb 400.

The results from the experiments with ozone reveled that the multistage was better than thebubble diffuser. The highest ozone dose with the multistage gave best results of all experiments with ozone. Comparison between the three activated carbon types showed that F400 had best adsorption capacity while SWE and sludge showed less promising results. F400 removed 90% of the APIs one week and had consistently high removal percentage over the weeks. The multistage could probably achieve a higher removal percentage with a higher ozone dosage and be a fair competitor to F400. The most promising approach for the industry would be a combination of multistage and F400.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
Wastewater, pharmaceuticals, APIs
National Category
Engineering and Technology
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-150567OAI: diva2:744729
Available from: 2015-04-17 Created: 2014-09-05 Last updated: 2015-09-18Bibliographically approved

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