Pharmaceutical removal: synergy between biological and chemical processes for wastewater treatment

Henrik Arnoud de Wilt

Research output: Thesisinternal PhD, WU


The occurrence of pharmaceuticals in the environment has become a worldwide environmental concern. After administration and excretion, pharmaceuticals end up in wastewater treatment plants. These plants, typically employing biological treatment, are not designed for their removal. Hence, numerous pharmaceuticals are emitted into the environment. Chemical treatment processes like ozonation can effectively remove pharmaceuticals, however these costly processes have disadvantages such as high energy consumption and by-product formation. On the contrary, biological treatment processes are less effective for pharmaceutical removal, but can complement chemical process by for instance by-product removal.

In this dissertation the combination of biological and chemical treatment processes for pharmaceutical removal was therefore studied. We found complementariness between various combinations of biological and chemical processes, resulting in the design of cost-effective combined treatment processes for enhanced pharmaceutical removal from wastewater treatment plant effluents.

Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Wageningen University
  • Rijnaarts, Huub, Promotor
  • Langenhoff, Alette, Co-promotor
Award date2 Feb 2018
Place of PublicationWageningen
Print ISBNs9789463437219
Publication statusPublished - 2018

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