A1 Journal article (refereed), original research

Transport of pharmaceuticals during electrodialysis treatment of wastewater

Open Access publication

Publication Details
Authors: Arola Kimmo, Ward Andrew, Mänttäri Mika, Kallioinen Mari, Batstone Damien
Publisher: Elsevier: 24 months
Publication year: 2019
Language: English
Related Journal or Series Information: Water Research
Volume number: 161
Start page: 496
End page: 504
Number of pages: 9
ISSN: 0043-1354
eISSN: 1879-2448
JUFO-Level of this publication: 3
Open Access: Open Access publication
Location of the parallel saved publication: http://urn.fi/URN:NBN:fi-fe2019102134099


Electrodialysis (ED) is a promising emerging electrochemical membrane technology for nutrient concentration and recovery from wastewater. However associated environmental safety aspects have to be
assessed before utilizing concentrated nutrient produced by ED, for instance as fertilizer. Municipal
wastewaters contain various micropollutants that have the potential of being concentrated during the ED
treatment processes. This study quantified the transport of pharmaceuticals during ED nutrient recovery
from synthetic centrate wastewater. Specifically, it is evaluated whether pharmaceutical micropollutants
are mobile, and therefore able to transport across the cation exchange membranes and concentrate into
the ED concentrate product. Results demonstrate that NH4+-N, PO43--P and K+ could be concentrated up to 5 times in the concentrated ED product (3700-4000 mg/L NH4+-N, 21-25 mg/L PO43--P, 990-1040 mg/L
K+). Target micropollutants, such as diclofenac, carbamazepine and furosemide were largely retained in
the diluent, with less than 8% being transported across to the concentrate product (feed micropollutant
concentration 10 or 100 ug/L) based on the final target pharmaceutical amounts in the ED concentrate
product (ug). Some transport of micropollutants such as atenolol, metoprolol and hydrochlorothiazide
was observed to the concentrate product. For instance a final concentration of 10.3, 9.4 and 8.6 ug/L on
average was measured for these pollutants in the final ED concentrate product (final volume ~1 L) in
experiments with a feed water (initial volume 20 L) containing only 10 mg/L of target pharmaceuticals.
Transport of pharmaceuticals across the ED membranes was concluded to be dominated mainly by the
molecule hydrophobicity/hydrophilicity as well as electrostatic interactions between pharmaceutical
molecules and ED membranes. Particularly excluded were those having a negative charge and high
hydrophobicity such as diclofenac and ibuprofen.

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Last updated on 2020-20-03 at 10:03