SOLUTIONS and BTO - Summary of results and applications for the drinking watersector
SOLUTIONS was a large FP7 research project of the European Union where 39 partners from academia, research institutes and industry researched solutions (“SOLUTIONS”) for water cycle contaminants. The project has delivered various concepts, tools, models and case studies. The objective of the BTO research was to review the various results of the solutions project and select one result, in consultation with the Chemical Safety theme group, to pilot in relation to a specific issue from the drinking water sector.
Thirty-four results and products from the SOLUTIONS website were reviewed and scored by an expert review team consisting of Thomas ter Laak, Milou Dingemans, Andrea Brunner and Bas van der Grift. Each item was scored for its ‘Technology Readiness Level’, a measure of the maturity of a technology or system on a scale of one to nine, the relevance and the applicability for the drinking water sector. Results already in use at KWR were noted and not considered for the pilot study. Each reviewer was asked to put forward one or two results suitable for the pilot study. Priority was given to results where KWR could bring the result out of the prototype (TRL 5-6) to the demonstration stage (TRL 7-8).
Four pilot projects were presented to the Chemical Safety theme group in July 2019 and a vote chose the pilot project to develop a degradation rate database for emerging contaminants. The chosen result was a literature review of degradation rates of emerging contaminants in soil and groundwater. The aim of the review was to assess the uncertainty of the fate of emerging organic contaminants in hydrological models. From the literature, first order degradation rates were extracted or calculated based on the data presented. This data was compiled in an MS-Excel database.
The database was matched with AquaPriori, a tool being developed within KWR by Dirk de Vries and Martin Korevaar of the Drinking Water Treatment team. The tool can predict the removal efficiency for non-tested, priority substances in water treatment processes based on quantitative structural property relationships (QSPRs). The tool is being developed for two treatments processes, activated carbon and reverse osmosis. Adding the database of degradation rates from the chosen publications to AquaPriori was a good fit for both research projects. By combining the database and AquaPriori tool we were able to use the funds in the SOLUTIONS pilot project efficiently and add value to an existing tool. There was the ambition on the AquaPriori side to add additional treatment processes to the tool and the database of degradation rates can be used to evaluate the removal efficiency of treatment processes including soil or dune passage. In addition, similar substances were of interest to both databases, namely emerging contaminants and as yet untested substances. Finally, the underlying principle of QSPR can also be applies to, for example toxicological and biological processes. The biodegradability of substances also be linked to substance properties via quantitative structure biodegradability relationships (QSBRs).