Treatment of Pharmaceutical Wastewater Using Nanoscale Zero-Valent Iron Particles

Project: National Science and Technology CouncilNational Science and Technology Council Academic Grants

Project Details


The relationship between medicine science and human life is inseparable. There is nonstop period of medicine development as long as there are more human activities. With the progressive medicine development and the extension of average life span of the human being, the elevation of society health is always the final goal of medicine science. The medicine brings human society lots of healthcare and well-being. There comes more negative affects gradually with the progressive medicine development. The residual concentrations of normal medicine, such as antibiotics, analgesic/antipyretics, CNS (central nervous system) drugs, cardiovascular drug, endocrinology treatments and diagnostic aid-adsorpbable organic halogen compounds increase gradually day by day. This result should be attributed to more usages of many medicines. Additionally, medicines run into the environment by the discharge induced from agriculture, industry, hospital and house. In general, medicine contaminants are difficult to be removed by biological degradation processes, and they will be stable existing in water for a long period. The inability to degrade highly poisonous medicine sufficiently in the treatment of wastewater causes these medicines flow into the rivers, the lakes, and the sea, ultimately threatening the nearby ecology. We will use ofloxacin and atenolol as model medicine contaminants. We are planning to use a rotating packed bed with blade packings for preparing nanoscale zero-valent iron with low oxygen concentration under a continues production, and then use advanced oxidation processes, such as UV/Fe0 、UV/Fe0/H2O2 and UV/Fe0/S2O8 2-, to directly treat the pharmaceutical wastewater containing medicine contaminants. In the first part of this project, we will use ferrous chloride tetrahydrate and reducing agent (sodium borohydride) to prepare nanoscale zero-valent iron in a rotating packed bed with blade packings. Also, we will use UV/Fe0 process to degrade ofloxacin and atenolol in aqueous solutions. The effects of medicine concentration, dosage of nanoscale zero-valent iron, and pH on the UV/Fe0 process will be investigated. In the second part of this study, we will apply nanoscale zero-valent iron to other advanced oxidation processes, such as UV/Fe0/H2O2 and UV/Fe0/S2O8 2- process, for degrading ofloxacin and atenolol in aqueous solutions. The effects of medicine concentration, dosage of nanoscale zero-valent iron, pH, and the concentration of H2O2 or S2O8 2- on the UV/Fe0/H2O2 or UV/Fe0/S2O8 2- process will be investigated. Finally, we will find out the differences among UV/Fe0/H2O2 and UV/Fe0/S2O8 2- process with UV/Fe0 process, and then propose a possible degradation mechanism.

Project IDs

Project ID:PB10107-0088
External Project ID:NSC101-2628-E182-003-MY2
Effective start/end date01/08/1231/07/13


  • pharmaceutical wastewater
  • rotating packed bed
  • nanoscale zero-valent iron
  • advanced oxidation processes


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