The Baltic Sea is heavily impacted by the discharge of treated effluents from wastewater treatment plants where the ubiquitous presence of organic micropollutants (e.g., pharmaceuticals and personal care products) has been reported. Unlike traditional POPs, most of these organic micropollutants are primarily marketed as products for public use.

Advanced treatment technologies are currently being considered as a measure to reduce the presence of hazardous substances in the Baltic Sea. To be able to perform sound cost-benefit analysis of implementing advanced wastewater technologies, it is important to know what the removal efficiency of a broad range of pollutants is using different conventional and advanced wastewater treatment technologies.

Recent developments in analytical chemistry have created new possibilities to analyze many compounds simultaneously. An integration of such cutting edge analytical techniques into removal efficiency evaluation of wastewater treatment technologies can provide opportunities to do transformative research.

The proposed project will focus on developing a rapid and high-throughput approach to evaluate pollutant removal efficiency from the WWTPs by using high-resolution mass spectrometry (UHPLC/Orbitrap-MS).

Researchers and departments:
Zhe Li, Department of Environmental Science and Analytical Chemistry (ACES)
Michael McLachlan, ACES
Emma Undeman, Baltic Sea Centre