CRIQ and INRS awarded a patent for a system that removes micropollutants from wastewater

January 12, 2016

A US patent was recently awarded jointly to Centre de recherche industrielle du Québec (CRIQ) and Institut national de recherche scientifique (INRS) for a system and a process that remove emerging micropollutants from industrial wastewater.

In preliminary studies the patented membrane bioreactor system eliminated 99% of bisphenol-A (BPA) and other compounds in heavily contaminated wastewater. BPA, which is used in the manufacture of plastics, is a micropollutant thought to disrupt various physiological mechanisms. The system is designed for installation at factory outlets to treat wastewater at the source and can also be incorporated into wastewater treatment plants.

Other efforts ongoing to treat hospital wastewater

Further work conducted by INRS and CRIQ are underway to confirm that this system can also treat water contaminated by six classes of drugs: antidepressants, antibiotics, analgesics, hormones, anticonvulsants, and chemotherapy products. Its installation at hospital outlets would prevent these pollutants from dispersing into the environment, where they could have adverse effects and ultimately end up in the food chain. Université de Montréal, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, and Centre d'expertise en analyse environnementale du Québec also contributed to implementation of this project.

"Since emerging micropollutants are not entirely eliminated by processes in existing wastewater treatment plants, CRIQ and its partners in 2008 began developing solutions to allow their removal before they reach municipal wastewater collection systems. Results indicate this is an especially promising approach toward protecting the environment from micropollutants, which carry real risks for human and animal health", notes Gerardo Buelna, research officer at CRIQ.

"The presence of in effluents carries risks that justify research efforts. The technology developed by CRIQ and INRS, when installed directly at the source in hospitals, could reduce or even eliminate those risks," adds Patrick Drogui, professor at Institut national de recherche scientifique.

Explore further: Finding out what's in 'fracking' wastewater

Related Stories

Finding out what's in 'fracking' wastewater

March 18, 2015

In early January, almost 3 million gallons of wastewater from a hydraulic fracturing ("fracking") operation in North Dakota spilled into nearby creeks. The accident highlighted ongoing concerns about what's in fracking fluids ...

Drugs in wastewater contaminate drinking water

July 20, 2015

Both prescription and illegal drugs that are abused have been found in Canadian surface waters. New research shows that wastewater discharges flowing downstream have the potential to contaminate sources of drinking water ...

Ozone bubbles to eliminate wastewater micropollution

July 31, 2015

Ozone treatment efficiently removes many micropollutants contained in wastewater, but in some cases, it can lead to the formation of toxic byproducts. A new test informs on whether ozonation is a suitable technology for enhanced ...

A super-fine solution to sponge up micropollutants

January 8, 2016

A super-fine form of powdered activated carbon captures micropollutants more rapidly than the conventional kind and could by used in Swiss wastewater treatment plants, say EPFL researchers in a new study.

Recommended for you

US Navy keeps electromagnetic cannon in its sights

June 25, 2016

The US Navy is quietly pushing ahead with a radical new cannon that one day could transform how wars are fought, even though some Pentagon officials have voiced concerns over its cost and viability.

Flower power—photovoltaic cells replicate rose petals

June 24, 2016

With a surface resembling that of plants, solar cells improve light-harvesting and thus generate more power. Scientists of KIT (Karlsruhe Institute of Technology) reproduced the epidermal cells of rose petals that have particularly ...

New device could unlock information potential of sunlight

June 24, 2016

People rely on sunlight for heat, light, and energy every day, but three Penn State researchers believe we're missing a valuable piece of information that sunlight itself could provide—the dynamic directions of incoming ...

Ultra-thin solar cells can bend around a pencil

June 20, 2016

Scientists in South Korea have made ultra-thin photovoltaics flexible enough to wrap around the average pencil. The bendy solar cells could power wearable electronics like fitness trackers and smart glasses. The researchers ...

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

COCO
5 / 5 (1) Jan 14, 2016
super - and now to nano

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.