Globally, there is a growing concern regarding the presence of trace emerging contaminants such as retinoids and oestrogenic endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) in aquatic environments.
Globally, there is a growing concern regarding the presence of trace emerging contaminants such as retinoids and oestrogenic endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) in aquatic environments. Retinoids such as retinoic acids and their metabolites, which are the derivatives of vitamin A, can cause abnormal morphological development in amphibians, fish, and snails at elevated levels. Oestrogenic EDCs like alkylphenols and bisphenol A are environmental oestrogens that can induce feminization of male fish and abnormal development in aquatic organisms.
Sewage effluents are a significant source for the continuous input of these contaminants into the aquatic environment. High levels of these chemical contaminants are commonly found in sewage effluents discharged from conventional sewage treatment plants (STPs).
An interdisciplinary team led by the University of Hong Kong (HKU) has developed a novel wastewater treatment system that can effectively remove conventional pollutants, and recover valuable resources such as phosphorus and organic materials (i.e., carbon fibres and volatile organic acids).
This novel system combines chemically enhanced primary sedimentation (CEPS) of sewage with acidogenic fermentation of sludge in tandem (Image 1). A series of laboratory experiments were conducted to prove that this novel system can effectively remove trace emerging chemical contaminants from wastewater and is more cost effective compared with conventional wastewater treatment systems.
Read more at The University Of Hong Kong
Image: The novel wastewater treatment system developed by the Theme-based research team led by HKU: Fe-based CEPS with side-stream sludge acidogenesis in relation to the conventional wastewater treatment process. Image Credit: University Of Hong Kong