Efficiency, costs and benefits of AOPs for removal of pharmaceuticals from the water cycle

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Different advanced oxidation processes (AOP) were developed for the treatment of highly loaded wastewater streams. Optimisation of removal and improvement of efficiency were carried out on a laboratory, semiworks and pilot plant scale. The persistent cytostatic drug cyclophosphamide was selected as a reference substance regarding elimination and evaluation of the various oxidation processes because of its low degradability rate. The investigated processes are cost-efficient and suitable regarding the treatment of wastewater streams since they lead to efficient elimination of antibiotics and antineoplastics. A total reduction of toxicity was proven by means of the umuC-test. However, in order to reduce pharmaceuticals from the water cycle, it must be considered that the input of more than 80‚ÄČ% of the pharmaceuticals entering wastewater treatment systems results from private households. Therefore, advanced technologies should also be installed at wastewater treatment plants.

Keywords: AOP, LC-MS/MS, ozone, pharmaceuticals, wastewater treatment

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