Development and application of a system based on advanced oxidation processes for the treatment of hospital wastewaters in order to remove pharmaceutical compounds with high persistence in aquatic environment.

Priority axis

1 - Promotion of the environment, sustainable transport and public infrastructure

Specific objective

1.1 Increase the capacity of CB infrastructure in transport, water & waste management




24 months

The presence of organic micro-pollutants, (pharmaceuticals, agrochemicals, etc.) in the environment is a problem that has caused great social and scientific concern in the last years as can be deduced from the strict legislation developed by various governments. Pharmaceuticals active compounds (PhACs) are being used at an increasing rate, and end up in wastewater through excretion and disposal.

The aim of the proposed project is the assessment of the current needs for the treatment of hospital effluents and the urrent concentration levels of PhACs and the development of an efficient and competitive technology of water treatment for the removal of organic micropollutants such as pharmaceuticals and the wastewater detoxification.

Advanced wastewater treatment options should be considered for removal of PhACs from urban, hospital and industrial wastewaters. There is a need for efficient treatment options which can effectively reduce/alter/modify the recalcitrance/toxicity profile of the wastewater.

One of the possible strategies for up-grading treatment is the application of advanced oxidation processes (AOPs) such as Photo-Fenton, Photolytic and Photocatalytic Oxidation which constitute a promising technology for the treatment of wastewaters containing non-biodegradable organic compounds. The major advantage of the photolytic oxidation based processes are operation at room temperature and the possibility to effectively use sunlight or near UV for irradiation.

The overall project objective is to establish an innovative mechanism for the secondary treatment of hospital wastewaters in Ioannina and Vlore hospitals with the use of advanced oxidation processes.

PhaRem main outputs are:

  • A consistent monitoring mechanism of pharmaceutical compounds in the effluents of wastewater treatment plants.
  • An inclusive long term pilot study on the efficiency, both technical and financial, of the proposed mechanism and
  • Creation of a permanent mechanism in order to support the sustainability of the project results.

The immediate project effect will be the improved secondary effluents of hospital wastewaters in the two pilot sites with a cumulative current daily flow rate of about 500 m3, resulting in a total of more than 0.2 million m3 for the duration of the pilot action.

Moreover, 0.4 million m3 of hospital wastewaters will be treated in the 2 years period following the project end through the agreed sustainability plan between the partners. The successful validation of the proposed mechanism will allow its incorporation to urban wastewaters treatment plants in the cross border area, which also carry lots of relevant pharmaceutical wastes.

The kick-off meeting of the project took place on 19/10/2018.

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