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Removal of Pharmaceuticals and Personal Care Products in Aquatic Environment by Membrane Technology

  • Xiuzhen WeiEmail author
  • Xufeng Xu
  • Cuixia Li
  • Jiawei Wu
  • Jinyuan Chen
  • Bosheng LvEmail author
  • Jianli WangEmail author
Chapter
  • 54 Downloads
Part of the Environmental Chemistry for a Sustainable World book series (ECSW, volume 42)

Abstract

Pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs) as emerging environmental contaminants have attracted increasing attention because of their potential adverse effects on humans and wildlife. PPCPs are frequently detected in surface and groundwater worldwide at concentrations of ng/L or ug/L. However, traditional activated sludge treatment process used in sewage treatment plants cannot effectively remove PPCPs from water. It has been confirmed that trace PPCPs can cause fish growth malformations, sex disorders, and even death, which raises concerns about the potential adverse effects of PPCPs. Membrane separation technologies have been confirmed to be suitable for the removal of PPCPs from water because they are simple to operate, effective, and economical.

This work will present a review on mechanisms, efficiency, and influence factors of PPCPs removal by ultrafiltration membranes, reverse osmosis membranes, and nanofiltration membranes. For ultrafiltration membranes, the removal efficiencies of PPCPs are relatively lower. But ultrafiltration membranes can be used to treat wastewater that contains PPCPs if they are combined with other treatment processes. Reverse osmosis membranes can effectively remove PPCPs molecules. However, the reverse osmosis process is not economical compared with nanofiltration membranes. Normally, the main mechanisms for nanofiltration membranes to remove PPCPs include size exclusion, electrostatic exclusion, and hydrophobic adsorption. For nanofiltration membranes, the removal efficiencies of PPCPs are affected by many factors, including the PPCPs characteristics, water quality conditions, and nanofiltration membrane characteristics. Nanofiltration membranes show great prospects for PPCPs wastewater treatment because of their relatively higher removal efficiency and lower energy consumption.

Keywords

PPCPs Removal efficiency Activated sludge Surface water Groundwater Environmental risk Membrane technology Ultrafiltration membrane Reverse osmosis membrane Nanofiltration membrane 

Notes

Acknowledgments

The authors gratefully acknowledge financial support from the Natural Science Foundation of Zhejiang Province (Grant No. LY19E030005), MOE Key Laboratory of Macromolecular Synthesis and Functionalization, Zhejiang University (2017MSF05). The authors also sincerely thank the Open Foundation from the Top Key Discipline of Environmental Science and Engineering, Zhejiang University of Technology (Grant No. 20150314).

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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of EnvironmentZhejiang University of TechnologyHangzhouChina
  2. 2.Key Laboratory of Microbial Technology for Industrial Pollution Control of Zhejiang ProvinceHangzhouChina
  3. 3.College of Chemical EngineeringZhejiang University of TechnologyHangzhouChina

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