"Hibridación de tecnologías de oxidación avanzada y adsorción selectiva para la recuperación y/o eliminación de microcontaminantes"

The environmental impacts of micropollutants generated in human activities (domestic, industrial, agriculture, etc.) and their pernicious effects over ecosystems are limiting the potential role of treated wastewater reuse as an alternative source of water. The conventional wastewater treatment plants are not designed for the treatment of these complex compounds resulting in an important source of their entry into the environment. For this reason, the released treated wastewater need to be treated using more efficient techniques. Nowadays, the development of innovative alternatives for their removal is demanded as well as new sampling and analytical tools and methodologies with their validation.

To confront the challenges of the treatment, the integration of different innovative technologies in a multi-step solution, and the creation of a multidisciplinary scientific task force able to carry out the implementation of the solution is necessary. Therefore, the proposal of the project is a concentration-degradation-purification sequence using hybrid adsorption and advanced oxidation processes in order to achieve the pollutant removal, and improving the water quality. Moreover, these processes will be coupled with analytical tools for the detection and identification of pollutants and intermediates through the treatment. The starting-point of the project is the previous experience of the research group in the use of adsorption, electrochemical and analysis techniques applied to the soil, groundwater and wastewater remediation providing and appropriate know-how that support the development of the project.

In this context, HIBRITEC project goals are: (i) tune up and validate classical analytical and new electroanalytical techniques for the identification and quantification of micropollutants and their intermediates; (ii) development of methodologies and tools for sampling and micropollutant analysis, including the in situ monitoring of the degradation process using screen-printed electrodes as transductors of a classical voltammetric analysis such as differential pulse voltammetry and spectro-electrochemistry; (iii) pre-concentration of the pollutants in solutions by adsorption and electroadsorption in previously synthesized and functionalised biochars enhancing their affinity and facilitating the final desorption; (iv) spent adsorbent regeneration by desorption or in situ degradation of the pollutants using advanced oxidation processes; (v) screening and optimisation of several advanced oxidation processes for the degradation of the pollutants on the concentrated solutions; (vi) elucidate the treatment benefits by toxicity analysis; (vii) hybridation of technologies in order to propose treatment strategies in function of the emerging contaminants found in waters, their properties and economical parameters.

The achievement of the proposed goals will reinforce the reuse of treated wastewater as an alternative source of water and the benefits will reach not only to the industrial or domestic sectors as well as to the society reducing the impact of the pollutant and providing a reliable water supply.


  • Main researcher: M. A. Sanromán M. Pazos
  • Reference: CTM2017-87326-R
  • Financed by: Ministerio Economía, Industria y Competividad
  • Start: January 2018
  • End: November 2020