Organic chemicals, such as pharmaceuticals, personal care products, and food additives, are applied in daily life. Because of the omnipresent application of these chemicals, their usage is difficult to reduce and they reach wastewater treatment plants (WWTP) in significant concentrations. In many cases, these organic chemicals are not degraded in activated sludge treatment because of their polar properties, and therefore the residuals of these organic compounds exit wastewater treatment systems and enter natural environments in which they may cause ecotoxic effects. Eventually, these residuals can reach reservoirs used for drinking water, such as ground waters. The compounds that are detected in the aquatic environment in the range of µg L-1 and below, concentrations which are not currently covered by existing water-quality regulations but are thought to be potential threats to environmental eco-systems and human health and safety, are called ‘emerging contaminants’ (ECs).
To decrease the phenomenon of discharging emerging contaminants into the aquatic environment through WWTP effluents and to ensure a good quality of drinking water, existing wastewater and drinking water treatment systems must be improved with alternative methods, such as chemical oxidation.
My research interests:
- Monitoring of the fate of ECs in the environment
- Application of various chemical oxidation methods for ECs removal from water
- Determination of transformation products formed from ECs using LC-MS/MS
- Application of LC-MS/MS for environmental purposes