Chemical Engineering Research & Design, Vol.166, 191-196, 2021
Comparison in the removal of stimulants and antibiotics from wastewater for its subsequent reuse with different technologies
The removal performances of each technology, its energy costs and the possible lack of qualified personnel in small population centres to implement the most suitable technology needs to be assessed. Likewise, the amount of wastewater to be treated and its intended subsequent use are fundamental aspects in deciding on which technology to apply. In the event that the water is to be reused, the use of membrane technologies in conventional plants and intermittent filters in the case of non-conventional plants have proven their effectiveness in removing different types of emerging contaminants. This paper reports the results obtained in the implementation of the aforementioned technologies for the removal of caffeine, theobromine, theophylline, amoxicillin and penicillin G, making a comparison between the removal performance, the amount of wastewater treated per day and the energy costs involved. The technologies under study reduce pollutants by over 99%, and the water can be reused in almost all options. As for the energy used by each methodology, it can be seen that the maximum amount of water treated per day at maximum flow rate in intermittent sand filters is 70 L per day. While with the membranes, between 500 and 1000 L per day are obtained. However, the membranes need more energy consumption, as well as qualified personnel for their use and maintenance. This leads to higher production costs. Intermittent filters provide evidence that it can be of great applicability in small populations, while the membranes should be used in terms of cost and for large populations. (C) 2020 Institution of Chemical Engineers. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.