The pharmaceuticals removal by means of AOPs

Dorota Marciocha, Ewa Felis, Joanna Surmacz-Górska


The most recent water environmental research has revealed presence of pharmaceuticals in sewage treatment plants effluents, treated sewage and surface waters, which means that metabolism of medicines in human organism is incomplete. These substances, both in their unchanged forms and as biologically active forms, are present in the environment and influence living organisms. Most pharmaceuticals are characterized with a stable chemical structure and it is impossible to remove them by traditional methods, used in wastewater treatment plants. Thus, the danger of the medicine accumulation during many years seems real. Application of chemical methods is necessary to remove them from the environment. Methods based on Advanced Oxidation Processes (AOPs) use free hydroxyl radicals reacting in nonselective way with many organic substances because of their high normal potential. AOPs consist in chemical and photochemical oxidation processes e.g. oxidation by ozone and hydrogen peroxide, photolysis UV radiation, Fenton or photo – Fenton reactions as well as combinations and modifications of these processes.

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