Micropollutants in our waste water
Micropollutants are compounds of emerging concern that have been found in our waste water. All micro pollutants have in common that they are persistent and bioactive, examples include pesticides, hydrocarbones and biologically harmful metals (Pb, Hg, As) as well as PPCP's (pharmaceuticals and personal care products like fragrances, cosmetics and sunscreen).
Why pharmaceutical residue in our waste water
Pharmaceuticals are not constructed to accumulate in the body – they are constructed to leave the body and are therefore released into the waste water. But they are also constructed to be persistent and break down very slowly in the nature. The bioactive nature of pharmaceuticals is another concern. Household sewage is the largest source of pharmaceutical effluent. Studies show that 70% of the pharmaceutical residue in our waste water comes from household use, while 20% comes from livestock farming and only 5% from hospital effluent.
Despite these facts, efforts are being made to reduce the effluent at hospitals. Primozone is part of a full scale project that is being conducted at the Herlev Hospital in Denmark where ozone is combined with other techniques to reduce pharmaceutical residue.
Ozone - the prevailing technique for pharmaceutical removal
Today most waste water treatment plants are not dimensioned to remove pharmaceutical residue. Estimates show that about 10% is eliminated at the treatment plants while 20% ends up in the sludge and as much as 70% ends up in the aquatic environment.
There are available techniques that efficiently reduce the level of pharmaceutical residue in our water. Conventional biological as well as mechanical treatment methods are not sufficient since a large part of pharmaceuticals are not degraded by these treatment methods. Ozone is a selective oxidant and primarily attacks electron rich structures in molecules, such as double bonds, and is therefore efficient in breaking down pharmaceuticals.
Ozone is a cost effective solution
With the Primozone ozone technology, ozone can be used to effectively remove pharmaceutical residue at a low cost. Many customers are positively surprised by the low cost per m3 water treated.
How efficient is ozone
Many studies show that up to 95% of the pharmaceutical residue can be removed with ozone, or even more depending on the dosage and retention time. A study performed by Primozone show that ozonation, preceded by filtration, will remove up to 95% removal with a 5 g O3/m3 water.
Studies also suggest that ozonation should be succeeded by sand filters to ensure an even more effective cleaning of the water.
For more information on the removal of micropollutants from wastewater visit www.micropollutants.com