Increasing amount of micropollutants such as drugs, cosmetics and nutritional supplements detected in surface waters represents increasing risk to humans and to the whole environment. These hazardous materials deriving mostly from wastewaters often cannot be effectively removed by conventional water treatment technologies due
to their persistence. Some of the innovative technologies use specific sorbents for their removal. Various cyclodextrin-based sorbents have already proved to be efficient in laboratory-scale experiments, but this is the first report on pilot-plant scale demonstration.
The BCDP sorption-technology as a tertiary treatment was tried in a pilot-plant scale operating, biomachine-type municipal wastewater treatment plant. As a result of the treatment 7 of 9 typical micropollutants (estradiol, ethinyl estradiol, estriol, diclofenac, ibuprofen, bisphenol A and cholesterol) were removed with>80% efficiency from 300 L effluent (reducing their concentration from ∼5 μg/L to<0.001–1 μg/L). GC–MS
analysis of water samples showed that many of the micropollutants were removed from the water within a short time, demonstrating the high potential of the applied cyclodextrin-based sorbent in micropollutant removal. The effect-based testing also confirmed the efficiency. There was a correlation between sorption efficacies and binding constants of micropollutant/cyclodextrin inclusion complexes, showing that among others also inclusion complex formation of pollutants with cyclodextrin played important role in sorption mechanism.
Éva Fenyvesi, Katalin Barkács, Katalin Gruiz, Erzsébet Varga, István Kenyeres, Gyula Záray, Lajos Szente (2019) Removal of hazardous micropollutants from treated wastewater using cyclodextrin bead polymer – a pilot demonstration case. Journal of Hazardous Materials 383, 121181. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jhazmat.2019.121181