• Project No 4552
  • Project Name Bioremediation of pharmaceuticals from wastewater streams
  • Lead Organisation Barwon Water
  • Research Lead Federation University
  • Main Researcher Kalyan Pantha
  • Completion Year 2027

Project Description

Contaminants of emerging concern (CECs) pose a potential risk to human health and the environment. In particular, pharmaceuticals have raised huge attention nowadays. Conventional wastewater treatment plants were not specifically designed to remove pharmaceuticals, but there are several treatment technologies which have been widely studied and implemented in wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) to remediate pharmaceuticals. Among the technologies, Constructed Wetlands (CWs) have been used as an alternative to other technologies. Literature suggests that phytoremediation can be a cost effective and sustainable treatment solution efficient in removal of pharmaceuticals, however the performance on removal of CECs and the behaviour of pharmaceuticals in CWs and their interactions with plant is still not clear.

This project will focus on identifying and assessing potential treatment technologies such as constructed wetlands and use of plants to mitigate the introduction of pharmaceutical compounds into the environment by eco-friendly and cost-effective solution.

This project will not only help industries to meet future regulatory requirements but also save investment in technologies for treating pharmaceuticals using advanced chemicals treatments (e.g., Advanced Oxidation, UV) which are expensive and energy intensive. In addition, the plant biomass can be used as alternative energy sources or raw materials, further reducing costs and environmental impact.