Reducing emerging pollutants in wastewater using innovative biopellets

Last changed: 14 August 2014

Recent studies show that wastewater treatment plants are ineffective in reducing emerging pollutants such as pharmaceuticals. Thus, these substances are now frequently detected in aquatic ecosystems and even in ground-and drinking water.

The aim of the project is to investigate the wastewater bioremediation potential of pellets composed of fungi and microalgae with a focus on emerging pollutants such as pharmaceutical residues. Our hypothesis is that wastewater treated with the biopellets will show a significantly higher reduction of pharmaceuticals compared to non-treated wastewater. A previous study on the biopellets reported they reduced phosphorus in wastewater in the order of 85% (from starting concentrations), suggesting that a high amount of phosphorus is retained in the pellets. Thus, there is a potential for using the biopellets as a farmland fertilizer.

Collaboration will be done with the Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering, University of Minnesota, USA.

Financial support: The Ångpanneföreningens Research Foundation
Project time: 2014-2015
Project leaders: Hristina Bodin and Malin Hultberg