Occurrence of pharmaceutical residues in water and treatment solutions
Pham, Thanh (2018)
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Pharmaceutical residues as micropollutants in water resources is a growing concern. This thesis presents a review of the global occurrence of pharmaceutical waste leftover in water after treatment in common sewage plants, the potential toxic effects of these chemicals as well as the pathways in which they enter and accumulate in the ecosystems. Awareness of these pollutants has been increased over the years and steps have been made by the authorities to remove these substances and restore the water quality. However, current technology and treatment process within existing wastewater treatment plants are insufficient in degrading these compounds effectively. Fortunately, several advanced treatment technologies have been found to effectively treat these pollutants with high removal percentage, such as activated carbon, advanced oxidation process using ultraviolet (UV) and/or ozone, biological treatment using fungi and macrophytes. Each of these technologies follows a different process, working mechanism as well as having their advantages and limitations. Overall, not any of the discovered technologies are able to totally remove all pharmaceutical residues presented in water sources. The best method currently is to combine these technologies within a wastewater treatment process in order to maximize all-around removal effectiveness and mitigate some of the limitations. Further research and development are still being made in this field and better treatment techniques will hopefully be discovered in the near future.