Biotransformation of Selected Pharmaceutical and Personal Care Products (PPCPs) in Biofilm Systems for Water Reclamation and Water Reuse

EPA Grant Number: F6A20029
Title: Biotransformation of Selected Pharmaceutical and Personal Care Products (PPCPs) in Biofilm Systems for Water Reclamation and Water Reuse
Investigators: Yu, Jim T.
Institution: The Johns Hopkins University
EPA Project Officer: Lee, Sonja
Project Period: September 1, 2006 through September 1, 2008
Project Amount: $111,000
RFA: STAR Graduate Fellowships (2006) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Academic Fellowships , Engineering and Environmental Chemistry , Fellowship - Environmental Engineering


The main goals of this research are to test the feasibility of biofiltration for removal of PPCPs, and then systematically investigate factors influencing the removal of PPCPs by biofiltration systems.

The objectives are (1) to test the biodegradability of our selected target analytes under different likely encountered environmental conditions and (2) to systematically investigate the factors (temperature, empty bed contact time, ozonation of the surface water, and backwashing conditions) influencing the removal of PPCPs in our biofiltration system.


Since the effectiveness of biofiltration at removing organics depends on the biodegradability of the organic compounds, we will conduct batch experiments (Phase I) to elucidate the biodegradability of our target PPCPs. In Phase II, we will systematically investigate several of the factors that may influence PPCP removal in biofilm systems. Included here are the empty bed contact time, temperature, potential biofilm loss, and different primary substrates.

Expected Results:

With the majority of our target analytes being biodegradable in our screening study, we fully anticipate that biofiltration can be an effective removal technology. We also expect that factors in favor of the microbial activity (e.g., higher temperature and longer contact time) will lead to greater removal of the PPCPs. This research will provide greater understanding of biofilter characteristics so we can optimize system parameters to produce treated water of the highest quality. The proposed project will also greatly advance our understanding of factors influencing secondary organic substrate removal in biofiltration.

Supplemental Keywords:

Pharmaceutical, Biofiltration and Biodegradation,, Scientific Discipline, Water, TREATMENT/CONTROL, Wastewater, Environmental Chemistry, Environmental Engineering, Water Pollution Control, biofiltration, wastewater treatment, pharmaceuticals, wastewater remediation, biodegradation, wastewater reuse, PCPP

Progress and Final Reports:

  • 2007
  • Final