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and pharmaceuticals were successfully removed by the combined
use of MBR followed by reverse osmosis (RO)/ultrafiltration
(UF)/microfiltration (MF)/nanofiltration (NF). Pesticides and
many pharmaceuticals can be removed well by using ozonation
followed by a biological activated carbon (BAC) hybrid process.
Other hybrid systems, such as ozonation-membrane reactor,
activated sludge-gamma radiation, ozonation-ultrasound, UF-
activated carbon-ultrasound, and ozonation-BAC hybrid systems
can be better employed than MBR-based RO/NF/UF hybrid
systems for the removal of many pharmaceuticals.
MBR–RO can successfully remove more than 99 per cent
of azithromycin, clarithromycin, erythromycin, ofloxacin,
sulfamethoxazole, diazepam, lorazepam, famotidine, ranitidine
and clopidogrel. Ozonation followed by BAC hybrid system can
be well applied in the removal of a wide range of emerging
contaminants, such as erythromycin, lincomycin, roxithromycin,
trimethoprim, caffeine, citalopram, doxylamine, phenytoin,
risperidone, sertraline, hydrochlorothiazide and perindopril.
Ozonation followed by UF hybrid system can remove up to
100 per cent of some pharmaceuticals, such as clarithromycin,
clindamycin, sulfamethazine, 4-aminoantipyrine, enalapril
and norbenzoylecgonine. The removal of 28 antibiotics was
successfully carried out in Brisbane using a hybrid system
activated sludge and MF/RO6.
MBR-RO/NF/UF and ozonation-BAC have been found
to be highly efficient in the removal of a wide range of
emerging contaminants, such as EDCs, antibiotics and other
pharmaceuticals. Other issues, such as process cost, membrane
fouling and energy demand, need to be considered in designing
such hybrid systems. Ozonation followed by BAC was found to
result in the removal of pesticides, beta blockers, pharmaceuticals
pain relievers, lipid regulators, analgesics, antibiotics and
other pharmaceuticals. But this process still suffers with lower
efficiencies of some emerging contaminants. Ozonation followed
by an ultrasound hybrid system is a recent development with
potentially high removal of some emerging contaminants, but this
process is prone to high costs and low efficiencies in the removal
of some emerging contaminants1
. In terms of cost, activated
sludge-based hybrid systems (activated sludge-UF, activated
sludge-gamma radiation) can be a good alternative, but needs
to consider the high retention time and sludge-processing costs.
Constructed wetland-based hybrid systems were less effective in
the removal of many emerging contaminants. Data on the removal
of pharmaceuticals and personal care products, and surfactants,
by hybrid systems are scarce. Some advanced oxidation treatment
processes, such as photocatalysis and photo-Fenton processes,
can be part of cost-effective hybrid systems integrated with
the conventional processes; however, hybrid systems should be
designed so that they can remove emerging contaminants with
high efficiency and selectivity. Overall, a hybrid system such as
ozonation-MBR-BAC/AC has the potential to effectively remove a
wide range of emerging contaminants.
1. M .B. Ahmed, J.L. Zhou, H.H. Ngo, W. Guo, N.S . Thomaidis, J. Xu,
‘Progress in the biological and chemical treatment technologies for
emerging contaminant removal from wastewater: A critical review’, J.
Hazard. Mater. 323 (2017) 274-298.
2. N . NHMRC, Australian drinking water guidelines, Commonwealth of
3. G . Birch, D. Drage, K. Thompson, G. Eaglesham, J. Mueller,
‘Emerging contaminants (pharmaceuticals, personal care products, a
food additive and pesticides) in waters of Sydney estuary, Australia’,
Marine pollution bulletin 97 (2015) 56-66 .
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A. Morrissey, ‘Treatment options for wastewater effluents from
pharmaceutical companies’, International Journal of Environ. Sci.
Technol. 8 (2011) 649-666 .
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chemicals (EDCs) and pharmaceuticals and personal care products
(PPCPs) in water effluents’, J. Hazard. Mater. 149 (2007) 631-642.
6. A . Watkinson, E. Murby, S. Costanzo, ‘Removal of antibiotics in
conventional and advanced wastewater treatment: implications for
environmental discharge and wastewater recycling’, Water Res. 41
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Chapman, ‘Modelling of the fate of selected endocrine disruptors in
a municipal wastewater treatment plant in South East Queensland,
Australia’, Chemosphere 69 (2007) 644-654.
8. M . Allinson, F. Shiraishi, S. Salzman, G. Allinson, ‘In vitro
and immunological assessment of the estrogenic activity and
concentrations of 17-estradiol, estrone, and ethinyl estradiol in treated
effluent from 45 wastewater treatment plants in Victoria, Australia’,
Archives Environ. Contam. Toxicol. 58 (2010) 576-586.
9. P .D . Scott, M. Bartkow, S.J. Blockwell, H.M. Coleman, S.J. Khan,
R. Lim, J.A. McDonald, H. Nice, D. Nugegoda, V. Pettigrove, ‘An
assessment of endocrine activity in Australian rivers using chemical
and in vitro analyses’, Environ. Sci. Pollut. Res. 21 (2014) 12951-
10. C. Mispagel, G. Allinson, M. Allinson, F. Shiraishi, M. Nishikawa,
M. Moore, ‘Observations on the estrogenic activity and concentration
of 17-estradiol in the discharges of 12 wastewater treatment plants
in southern Australia’, Archives Environ. Contam. Toxicol. 56 (2009)
11. J. Roberts, A. Kumar, J. Du, C. Hepplewhite, D.J. Ellis, A.G . Christy,
S.G . Beavis, ‘Pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs) in
Australia’s largest inland sewage treatment plant, and its contribution
to a major Australian river during high and low flow’, Sci. Total Environ.
541 (2016) 1625-1637.
12. M.A . Recharge, Australian Guidelines for Water Recycling (2009).
13. H. Chapman, ‘Removal of endocrine disruptors by tertiary
treatments and constructed wetlands in subtropical Australia’, Water
Sci. Technol. 47 (2003) 151-156.
14. M. Gavrilescu, K. Demnerová, J. Aamand, S. Agathos, F. Fava,
‘Emerging pollutants in the environment: present and future challenges
in biomonitoring, ecological risks and bioremediation’, New Biotechnol.
32 (2015) 147-156.
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