Bilgehan NAS, Taylan DOLU, Havva ATEŞ, M. Emin ARGUN, Esra YEL


Present of micropollutants in aquatic environments has become an alarming environmental problem for both living creatures and environment. Micropollutants, also called as emerging contaminants arise from natural substances and increasing variety of anthropogenic events. Micropollutants consist of pharmaceuticals, personal care products, steroid hormones, industrial chemicals, pesticides, polyaromatic hydrocarbons and other recently seen compounds. These emerging contaminants are commonly found in very low concentration in different water bodies ranging from a few ng/L to several μg/L.     

Many existing Wastewater Treatment Plants (WWTPs) in all over the world are not especially designed for removing micropollutants. Low concentration and diversity of micropollutants complicate the dedection and analysis procedures during the treatment processes. Furthermore, entering micropollutants to the WWTPs continuously and stable structure of many micropollutants make difficult to eliminate these emerging compounds sufficiently. Therefore, many micropollutants of unknown concentration pass to aquatic environment from WWTPs. The occurence of micropollutants with a significant levels in aquatic environments disrupt the aquatic ecosystems with a number of adverse effects including short-term and long-term toxicity such as endocrine disrupting effects. Besides the known negative effects of micropollutants there are great number of micropollutants whose effects on living organisms are still unknown. As a result, removing these compounds is of a great importance both to protect environmental ecosystem and human health. Considering that the conventional methods are insufficient for removing the micropollutants other alternative treatment methods including coagulation–flocculation, activated carbon adsorption (powdered activated carbon and granular activated carbon), advanced oxidation processes (AOPs), membrane processes and membrane bioreactor can be applied for better removal.

In this study, alternative treatments methods and removal efficiencies of each treatment methods on different micropollutants were investigated and all alternative treatment methods were compared between each other in terms of micropollutant removal rates.


Micropollutants, removal efficiency, wastewater, wastewater treatment plants

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