Rising to the challenge of removing emerging pollutants and endocrine disruptors like pharmaceutical waste, cosmetics and pesticides is no mean feat. Some of these chemicals are listed as priority substances under the European Water Framework Directive, and all of them are thought to have harmful effects on the hormone systems of humans and animals.

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©Roger Straessle/Photothèque VWS

A new process, developed from Actiflo Carb®(which has been commercialized since 2009),successfully removed 75% of pharmaceuticals from wastewater during tests on an industrial scale by using an activated carbon adsorption(*) process.

Thanks to this technique it scored high on its ability to reduce phosphorus concentrations to well below regulatory limits. The process is still in the pilot phase, but it is already set to become a benchmark solution for removing micropollutants as part of drinking water treatment.

In the interim, the process continues to be put through its paces around the world: following initiatives in France, Switzerland and the United States (trials conducted by Veolia Water North America, its subsidiary Kruger Inc. and the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District), Germany is now putting the technology’s filtration capabilities to the test.
(*) In this case, the adhesion of polluting organic matter to a solid surface.

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