Ozonation of Pharmaceuticals: Formation of Transformation Products (Master)

Last changed: 29 January 2021

The student performing this master thesis will study formation of transformation products after ozonation treatment under laboratory-controlled conditions.

Over the past few years, pharmaceuticals are considered as an emerging environmental problem due to their continuous input and persistence to the aquatic ecosystem even at low concentrations. Advanced oxidation processes such as ozonation are technologies based on the intermediacy of hydroxyl and other radicals to oxidize recalcitrant, toxic and non-biodegradable compounds to various by-products and eventually to inert endproducts. Ozonation is known as an efficient treatment to reduce the concentration of many trace organic compounds from wastewater effluents, but the formation of unknown and possibly persistent and toxic transformation products has to be considered.

The main aim of this work will be to study the reaction of selected pharmaceuticals with ozone. Parameters affecting the kinetics, such as ozone doze and contact time with ozone will be studied in detail. The main transformation products of ozone treatment of pharmaceuticals dissolved in water will be identified and quantified using liquid chromatography coupled (LC) with high resolution mass spectrometry (HRMS). Interpretation of the results will give information about what transformation products are formed during the ozone.

The ozonation experiments, extraction and analysis of the data will be performed by the student. The student should have laboratory experience and be interested in analytical chemistry. The Master thesis will contain a literature study, measurements, compilation of results, and a final written report. The literature study will contain findings in international research of occurrence and removal of pharmaceuticals in drinking water by ozone treatment.


Intended as a Master thesis project (Advanced level) in Chemistry or Environmental Science (30 credits/20 weeks or 60 credits/40 weeks).

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