RECOPHARMA will deal with the specific treatment of the retentate derived from reverse osmosis (RO) systems rather than the diluted amounts reaching the WWTP.
The CDs are concentrated in the retentate, which usually makes up 20–30% of the total influent.
The modular implementation of RECOPHARMA unit within WWTP in pharma industries or hospitals, will provide a more efficient approach in terms of less volume to treat, a more selective process and energy efficient balance.
These aims will be complemented with robust analytical methodologies to both characterize and determine the fate of CDs, the corresponding transformation products or metabolites and chemical models to assess the related changes in wastewaters during the proposed treatment to evaluate its efficiency. Positive results will let to reuse the generated depolluted effluents as grey water in hospitals or industrial pharma processes. Only, if contrasted figures in terms of CDs content are not significant, the potential reinjection of treated water in aquifers could be feasible.
– Recovery of CDs values
A combined MIPs-RTS process: The valorization of target wastewater will be carried out by the recovery of CDs values through MIPs, due to its high selectivity, will strongly contribute to the CDs separation efficiency in order to reuse the water. RECOPHARMA will develop a new synthetic method, to improve compatibility with water, through molecular imprinting in Pickering emulsion (nanoparticle-stabilized emulsion). In this process, CDs selective adsorption from wastewater is followed by non-selective desorption requiring the use of a desorption reagent of particular nature.
In addition, it will avoid such reagents by selecting the MIPs nature with an appropriate ∆H or ∆Eredox for the target CD adsorption/desorption, both batch and continuous mode.
For systems with limited selectivity, the chromatographic mode in continuous flow will be applied, for the first time in reagent-less processes.
– Degradation of remaining pollutants
The suggested approach offers versatile, fast, highly efficient, and low-cost treatment for wastewaters containing CDs.
In the remaining polluted stream could be found not only rejected CDs but also metabolites and rest of EPPPs. RECOPHARMA will profit from consortium partners’ previous experience by utilizing evolved surface engineered NFMs for the treatment of wastewaters containing CDs and CDs metabolites. A key aspect in the suggested process is the use of NFMs based on a novel combination of inorganic nanoparticles supported on a non-degradable material to set up efficient photocatalytic degradation processes.
The contribution of RECOPHARMA has several main advantages:
1) The process does not generate solid residues as the conventional Fenton use to do.
2) The catalyst spent is much less since the solid catalyst last for several runs and it is easily regenerated.
3) The designed nanoparticles are limited to the nanocomposite fabric and will not be released into the environment. In case there should be a potential toxicity effect, this would be related to the release of metals in solution. Such risk has been considered and will be monitored through the WP1 tasks (Characterization of target CDs in wastewaters and treated waters).
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