Hybrid Membrane assisted processes for organic micropollutant removal in water reuse scenarios

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Courtesy of IWA Publishing

Organic micropollutants (OMPs) are a category of recently detected chemicals or emerging contaminants found in freshwater sources, natural water bodies, water treatment effluents and soil sediments at relatively low concentrations but are proven to have the potential of severe health risk to humans and aquatic life.They constitute a wide range of chemicals used in Pharmaceuticals and Personal care products (PPCPs), Hormones (natural and synthetic), and Endocrine disrupting compounds (EDCs) including pesticides, surfactants, cosmetics, flame retardants, perfumes, waterproofing and spot repelling treatments, insolating foams , etc. They are vast in number and variable in occurrence in water sources as new products are continuously introduced. Physicochemical characteristics of OMPs are widely varied but most Pharmaceuticals for example are polar, biologically active with relatively high hydrophilicity and persistence in order to get absorbed in the human body as well as to avoid degradation before they have a curing effect (Daughton, 2001). These characteristics coupled with the low concentration at which they occur and their small size or molecular weights make their removal obviously difficult.

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