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Removal of Pharmaceutical and Personal Care Products (PPCPs) from Municipal Waste Water with Integrated Membrane Systems, MBR-RO/NF.


This study focuses on the application of combining membrane bioreactor (MBR) treatment with reverse osmosis (RO) or nanofiltration (NF) membrane treatment for removal of pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs) in municipal wastewater. Twenty-seven PPCPs were measured in real influent with lowest average concentration being trimethoprim (7.12 ng/L) and the highest being caffeine (18.4 ng/L). The results suggest that the MBR system effectively removes the PPCPs with an efficiency of between 41.08% and 95.41%, and that the integrated membrane systems, MBR-RO/NF, can achieve even higher removal rates of above 95% for most of them. The results also suggest that, due to the differences in removal mechanisms of NF/RO membrane, differences of removal rates exist. In this study, the combination of MBR-NF resulted in the removal of 13 compounds to below detection limits and MBR-RO achieved even better results with removal of 20 compounds to below detection limits.