BTO rapport - BTO 2014.003

Affinity adsorption for specific removal of pharmaceuticals


The use of pharmaceuticals and the number of active compounds is continuously increasing. A large part of the pharmaceuticals used is excreted and via the sewerage enters the wastewater treatment plants. However, in general these have not been designed to deal with such compounds, as a result of which they mostly end up in surface waters. As pharmaceuticals are biologically active compounds their presence there may affect the aquatic life. Besides, surface water often is used as a source for drinking water, and here the presence of pharmaceuticals certainly is unwanted. Removal of pharmaceuticals from wastewater or drinking water requires sophisticated technology, but often it is noticed that some hydrophilic, water soluble pharmaceuticals are difficult to remove or treat, or that this is only possible at high costs.

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