Immobilized enzymes for the treatment of pharmaceutical residues in water

SCHEME: Proof-of-Concept

CALL: 2016

DOMAIN: BM - Life Sciences, Biology and Medicine

FIRST NAME: Henry-Michel

LAST NAME: Cauchie




KEYWORDS: Pharmaceutical contaminants, enzymatic degradation of pharmaceuticals in water; wastewater treatment technology; Hospital effluents; moving-bed bioreactor; marketing;

START: 2016-10-01

END: 2018-09-30


Submitted Abstract

The IMOTEP project aims to develop a pilot production line for bioactive floating carriers able to degrade pharmaceuticals dissolved in water, and to demonstrate the performance of these carriers in a prototype working relevant environment (effluents with hospital residues). The rationale for developing and demonstrating this technology is the increasing presence of pharmaceuticals in the water resources,which generate ecological problems in rivers and groundwater and lead to contamination of drinking water. Responses to these environmental issues include development of innovative, compact and cost-effective wastewater treatment targeting in the first instance hospital and pharmaceutical industry effluents. The driver for new technologies is mainly linked to water resources protection through European legislation and its forthcoming evolution including pharmaceuticals as priority substances to be limited in the European waters. From a technological point of view, several existing technologies are able to partially treat pharmaceuticals in wastewater. Significant drawbacks of existing technologies are however related to their cost, to the incompleteness of treatment and to the production of toxic by-products. LIST has developed an innovative technology based on fixed enzymes (laccase, beta-lactamase, NDM-1) that allows the treatment of pharmaceuticals in compact units with no production of toxic by-products. This technology has the advantage of being easily installed in existing treatment infrastructure and at low additional cost.

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