Veolia’s Actioflo Carb Removes 75% of Pharmaceuticals in Wastewater

by | Oct 4, 2012

Water treatment product Actiflo Carb can remove large amounts of pharmaceuticals and personal care products and of phosphorus from wastewater, according to research by Veolia Water North America.

Over the course of an 8-week study, the presence of phosphorus and a variety of pharmaceuticals and personal care products, ranging from ointments to medications, were monitored after adding Actiflo Carb to the traditional wastewater treatment process. With the use of Actiflo Carb, 75 percent of the selected pharmaceuticals and personal care products were removed from the wastewater. Additionally, phosphorus was reduced to a concentration of 0.05 mg/L or less, well below the US EPA’s regulatory limit set at 1.0 mg/L.
As part of a multi-year partnership with a team of scientists from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, the Actiflo Carb study was conducted by process engineers from Veolia Water and its subsidiary Kruger Inc., with the support of the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District and the Water Environment Research Foundation.
By examining water samples collected at different times over the course of a one-year period between 2009 and 2010, the first phase of the project concluded that a significant concentration of several trace organic compounds were still present in the wastewater even after a secondary treatment process had been completed. Since treated wastewater effluent discharged into the environment must be safe for all other water uses – including fishing, swimming, recreation and municipal drinking water supply – minimizing the discharge of trace organic compounds is critical, Veolia Water says.

Results from the first phase prompted Veolia Water and MMSD to launch a pilot study to apply a new technology, Actiflo Carb, to treat the secondary effluent.

Developed and patented by Veolia Water Solutions & Technologies, Actiflo Carb is a high-rate clarification technology that relies on powdered activated carbon, which is known for its ability to remove pesticides, taste-and-odor-causing compounds, natural organic matter and many types of trace organic compounds from water and wastewater.

In July last year, Veolia Water began constructing a wastewater treatment plant to reduce the environmental impact of cosmetics company L’Oreal’s manufacturing facilities in Asia.The treatment plant is based on a combination of two of Veolia’s patented technologies.Veolia describes the use of the Biothane Biobulk CSTR and Anoxkaldnes MBBR technologies as “revolutionary” and says that as a result of the new system’s installation the total CO2 emissions of the wastewater treatment plant will be reduced by 43 percent.

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