Clay–starch combination for micropollutants removal from wastewater treatment plant effluent

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Courtesy of IWA Publishing

In this study, a new, more effective and cost-effective treatment alternative is investigated for the removal of pharmaceuticals from wastewater treatment plant effluent (WWTP-eff). The potential of combining clay with biodegradable polymeric flocculants is further highlighted. Flocculation is viewed as the best method to get the optimum outcome from clay. In addition, flocculation with cationic starch increases the biodegradability and cost of the treatment. Clay is naturally abundantly available and relatively inexpensive compared to conventional adsorbents. Experimental studies were carried out with existing naturally occurring pharmaceutical concentrations found and measured in WWTP-eff with atrazine spiking for comparison between the demineralised water and WWTP-eff matrix. Around 70% of the total measured pharmaceutical compounds were removable by the clay–starch combination. The effect of clay with and without starch addition was also highlighted.

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