Faculty of Chemical Engineering and Technology, Marulićev trg 19, 10000 Zagreb;
Summary of the research project
In Croatia, industrial and agriculture wastewaters are mainly discharged untreated to the rivers. Thus, the future of indirect potable reuse requires a planned protection of surface waters through efficient treatment of wastewaters prior to their discharge and the occurrence of contaminants is a key issue in relation to the quality of water supplies.
Project REPHAD addresses the so-called “emerging” or “new” contaminants, particularly human and veterinary pharmaceuticals, whose emission has recently emerged as an environmental problem. It focuses on their tracing in industrial and agriculturall effluents and on their removal by advanced membrane (RO/NF) technologies. Emphasis is on the application of small units for the treatment of effluents with the objective to reduce environmental and health risks due to improvement of the quality of receiving surface waters. In this project a highly selective and high throughput chromatographic methods for simultaneous determination of pharmaceutical and their degradation products in highly complex wastewater matrices will be developed. The method involves sample pre-treatment by solid-phase extraction (SPE) and analytical determination by high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) coupled with DAD, FLD and MS detectors.
The project also aims to achieve an improved understanding of the biotransformation and ecotoxicity of emerging contaminants in the environment and during water treatment applying advanced analytical methods based on Toxicity Identification Evaluation (TIE) approach. The fact that these compounds are not in the regulatory list of environmental pollutants resulted in comparatively little attention paid to them. Although pharmaceuticals are expected to occur in trace concentrations, because of their continuous use and bacterial resistance attributed to their action, they represent particular problem. Their incomplete removal from the wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) is referred to as the major source of their release into environment. Therefore, multiresidue analytical method is a prerequisite to provide reliable data on the behavior of pharmaceuticals in WWTPs. The information obtained from analysis of influents and effluents of WWTPs may serve to optimize a treatment process or possible pre-treatment step so that the emission of undesired pollutants into the receiving waters is prevented.
The scientific and technological objectives are focused on the investigation of wastewater treatment technologies at laboratory and pilot scale.
Duration of the Project: 36 months