Discover how to remove pollutants from wastewater, allowing greater possibility of recycling
Researchers are trying to remove pesticides, pharmaceuticals and microplastics from sewage treatment plant waters so they can be recycled and reused for other purposes, such as irrigating agricultural and sports grounds.
“It makes no sense to use treated wastewater to, for example, irrigate agricultural fields if the treatment plans do not remove the pollutants,” said Cristina Deleure Matos, researcher at the Higher Institute of Porto Engineering (ISEP), in Lusa.
Although the legislation “does not require it” and the treatment plants were not “designed” to remove pollutants such as pharmaceuticals, pesticides and microplastics, this is the subject of the project. BioReset, which started in April.
As Ms. Matos explains, “the fact that sewage treatment plants do not remove pollutants” means “they become a major source of entry into the environment”…and these compounds” cause harmful effects on living organisms,” she adds (an environmental situation activists fight against all the time…)
Currently, researchers are developinganalytical methodologiesfor the detection and, consequently, the elimination of microplastics from water, since, both for pesticides and for pharmaceutical products, certain methodologies had already been validated during the European “Rewater” project.
In fact, Rewater served as the basis for BioReset. The challenge it is now up to the researchers to “try to understand which emerging pollutants need to be eliminated and what are the most adequate methods to do so”.
The goal is to be able to reuse wastewater, in a safe and sustainable way” for various purposes – not only irrigation of agriculture, sports grounds, but of golf course/ landscaping same residential / industrial areas.
Reuse could go further, for example “until the floor cleaningthe toilet flush, car wash and the Fight against fires“says Lusa.
Over the next three years, researchers from the REQUIMTE group – Associated Laboratory of Green Chemistry (LAQV) of ISEP will focus on this subject, which is being developed in collaboration with the wastewater treatment plants of Águas do Centro Litoral where pilot and full-scale studies will be conducted. be possible.