Advanced Oxidation Processing (AOP) for EDC Removal

EPA Grant Number: SU836768
Title: Advanced Oxidation Processing (AOP) for EDC Removal
Investigators: Tuberty, Shea
Institution: Appalachian State University
EPA Project Officer: Sergeant, Anne
Phase: I
Project Period: September 1, 2016 through August 31, 2017
Project Amount: $15,000
RFA: P3 Awards: A National Student Design Competition for Sustainability Focusing on People, Prosperity and the Planet (2016) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Sustainability , P3 Awards , P3 Challenge Area - Water

Description:

Develop TiO2 materials for photocatalytic degradation of EDCs in municipal water treatment plant effluent; adapt a well-established mode of action estrogen assay to quantify pre- and post-treatment estrogenic activity to show proof of concept.

Objective:

Pharmaceuticals are a widespread class of chemicals designed to have biochemical activity at low concentrations in order to cure diseases and improve health. However, pervasive use of these compounds has led to their occurrence in surface and ground waters. Among the wide variety of pharmaceuticals released to the environment, estrogenic compounds have emerged as one particular concern over the past few decades. The presence of estrogens in the environment leads to known and possible unknown effects on non-target species, including humans.

Major objectives of the project are (1) the development of photocatalysts suitable for the degradation of estrogenic compounds in water treatment plants using visible light and (2) the adaptation of an estrogen test (assay) to quantify the level of estrogen before and after treatment. The goals of this work include a means of preventing the continued release of biologically disruptive compounds to our environment, benefiting both human and environmental health.

Approach:

The research team plans to use Earth-abundant and environmentally benign elements for the development of photocatalysts that will make use of diffuse sunlight to drive the photochemical processes to breakdown estrogenic compounds.

Expected Results:

This is the first step in the development of an inexpensive, low-maintenance, and effective system for the removal of estrogenic compounds from wastewater.

Supplemental Keywords:

Advanced oxidative processes, titanium dioxide, sewage effluent, endocrine disrupting compounds, environmental estrogens;