BTO rapport - BTO 2012.008(s)

Removal efficiency of pharmaceuticals in drinking water production. Application of nanofiltration


Within the framework of the BTO program the project ‘dealing with pharmaceuticals in drinking water production’ investigates risk assessment and risk management options for pharmaceuticals and their metabolites in drinking water production. This project is a thematic integrated project within the KWR research groups ‘Water Treatment’ (WT) and ‘Chemical Water Quality’ (CW). The objective of this project is to determine the most efficient and sustainable approach to deal with pharmaceuticals in drinking water production. Various existing drinking water treatment methodologies (active carbon filtration, UV-H2O2 oxidation and membrane filtration) are assessed in terms of removal efficiency for pharmaceuticals and their metabolites. This report focuses on the application of nanofiltration for the removal of pharmaceuticals in drinking water production.
This report presents the outcome of a nanofiltration pilot test carried out at KWR. Nanofiltration represents an attractive treatment option for the removal of salts, particles, pathogens but also organic micro-pollutants. However, in order to fully exploit its potential, the underlying mechanisms of rejection need to be understood, especially under realistic operating conditions, namely in the presence of fouling constituents in the feed water. The research conducted at KWR aims at providing insight into the process of membrane filtration and its rejection behavior for a wide range of micro-pollutants by combining pilot testing with comprehensive membrane characterization.
The authors would like to acknowledge the contributions of Arne Verliefde (Ghent University and Delft University of Technology) and Tan Quach (Delft University of Technology) to this work. Also, the research could not have been successfully carried out without the practical help and continuous availability of Harry van Wegen and Sydney Meijering (Technical Workshop KWR). In addition, we would like to thank Anke Brouwer (Laboratory of Microbiology, KWR) for her assistance during membrane autopsies.

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