Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Waste water without pharmaceutical residues – New process completely eliminates trace substances

14.05.2018

Pharmaceutical residues in waste water pose new challenges for municipal water treatment. Established methods are frequently found lacking when it comes to removing such substances. A treatment module developed at Fraunhofer IKTS provides a remedy and completely eliminates these harmful substances.

In Germany, approximately 38,000 tons of medicines, including hormones, antibiotics and antivirals, are consumed annually. Their residues are increasingly found in the waste water of conurbations. From there they also enter ground- and surface water.


© Fraunhofer IKTS

Processing module with integrated ultrasonic sensors for complete removal of pharmaceutical residues.

Ususally they are difficult to remove with conventional sewage plant and water treatment technology. Two very worrying trends are associated with this: the increasing of both the spread of multiresistant microorganisms and fertility disorders.

With the help of electrochemical processes, pharmaceutical residues can be completely degraded. They are electrochemically converted at the anode of an electrolysis cell, leaving only carbon dioxide. However, the anodes made of boron-doped diamond with a price of currently approx. 16,000 € per square meter are much too expensive. Fraunhofer IKTS is pursuing two approaches in order to manufacture the electrodes more cost-efficiently and increase the degradation rates.

Cost-efficient anode materials in combination with ultrasound

On the one hand, an alternative noble-metal-free anode material of semiconducting mixed-oxide phases was developed. Tin-antimony oxide-based systems have proven to be particularly effective. With the same functionality and service life, they cost only one tenth compared to boron-doped diamond.

On the other hand, researchers at Fraunhofer IKTS cause the waste water to oscillate by means of ultrasound in order to intensify the mass transport at the electrode and thus reach even higher degradation rates. This is achieved by minimizing the thickness of the diffusion layer on the anode. The layer acts as a kind of reaction barrier and thus slows down their destruction.

Ceramic-based electrode-sonotrode module

Not only the process combination is sophisticated, but also the design of the corresponding electrode-sonotrode module. The innovative approach consists of pressing the ultrasonic sensors directly onto the ceramic electrode so that it vibrates like a spring. This greatly improves material transport to the electrode. This is made possible by ceramic materials and technologies.

Fraunhofer IKTS covers the entire technological chain – from the development of functional materials, screen printing of ultrasonic actuators, suitable joining technologies for contacting the electrode to systems integration. In addition, there is extensive know-how in the field of electrochemical process engineering, which forms the basis for the successful treatment of polluted waste water. These intertwined competences of a research institute are unique in Europe.

On a laboratory scale, a convincing proof of the function of the new electrode-sonotrode module has recently been provided and a patent application has been filed. “In view of the positive results, we now see upscaling as a realistic goal. An electrochemical reactor is being developed and tested on a technical scale for this purpose,“ says Dipl.-Chem. Hans-Jürgen Friedrich, head of Technical Electrolysis and Geothermal Energy group at Fraunhofer IKTS in Dresden.

In the future, the electrode-sonotrode module will also be used in other sectors, such as the destruction of nitroaromatics, plasticizers, herbicide residues or other toxic substances in commercial waste water. “Applications in the field of chemical synthesis and sensor technology are also focused,“ adds project manager Hans-Jürgen Friedrich.

At this year‘s IFAT, Fraunhofer IKTS presents its entire portfolio of efficient and environmentally friendly water treatment technologies on Booth 132 in Hall A3.

Weitere Informationen:

https://www.ikts.fraunhofer.de/en/press_media/press_releases/waste_water_without...
https://www.ikts.fraunhofer.de/en/communication/trade_fairs/ifat_18.html

Dipl.-Chem. Katrin Schwarz | Fraunhofer Institute for Ceramic Technologies and Systems IKTS

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht O2 stable hydrogenases for applications
23.07.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für Chemische Energiekonversion

nachricht Scientists uncover the role of a protein in production & survival of myelin-forming cells
19.07.2018 | Advanced Science Research Center, GC/CUNY

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Future electronic components to be printed like newspapers

A new manufacturing technique uses a process similar to newspaper printing to form smoother and more flexible metals for making ultrafast electronic devices.

The low-cost process, developed by Purdue University researchers, combines tools already used in industry for manufacturing metals on a large scale, but uses...

Im Focus: First evidence on the source of extragalactic particles

For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.

To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...

Im Focus: Magnetic vortices: Two independent magnetic skyrmion phases discovered in a single material

For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.

Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...

Im Focus: Breaking the bond: To take part or not?

Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.

A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...

Im Focus: New 2D Spectroscopy Methods

Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.

"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Leading experts in Diabetes, Metabolism and Biomedical Engineering discuss Precision Medicine

13.07.2018 | Event News

Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP: Fine Tuning for Surfaces

12.07.2018 | Event News

11th European Wood-based Panel Symposium 2018: Meeting point for the wood-based materials industry

03.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Enabling technology in cell-based therapies: Scale-up, scale-out or program in-place

23.07.2018 | Health and Medicine

Abrupt cloud clearing events over southeast Atlantic Ocean are new piece in climate puzzle

23.07.2018 | Earth Sciences

The Maturation Pattern of the Hippocampus Drives Human Memory Deve

23.07.2018 | Science Education

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>