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A cost-effective and energy-efficient water treatment technology to remove pharmaceutical pollutants from urban wastewater

Objective

Widespread contamination from pharmaceuticals (synthetic or natural chemicals found in prescription medicines, over-the-counter therapeutic drugs & veterinary drugs) are finding their way into the drinking water supply, posing serious threats to public health. Pharmaceutical compounds such as hormones and endocrine disrupters are already responsible of major health problems, but modern wastewater treatment systems are not designed for effective removal of pharmaceuticals.
Pharem Biotech brings to market the first enzyme-carrying filtration system able to remove a large range of organic pollutants (pharmaceuticals and other biological active compounds such as Bisphenol A, PFOS, antibiotics, hormone disruptors, etc.) in wastewater treatment plants, without additional energy requirement. By combining the enzymes with biotechnological techniques and a process for applying the enzymes onto a physical filter, the solution provides a wastewater treatment process step that can be added onto the existing water treatment processes at sewage treatment plants and work without external energy. The solution is based on modified enzymes which are 200 times more effective than native enzymes, resistant to low temperature, resistant to low pH and with high levels of stability and activity.
The solution was successfully demonstrated in an industrial environment (Hammarby Sjöstadsverk in Stockholm, Sweden, a test and demonstration facility for innovative waste water purification run by the Swedish Environmental Institute) where it effectively removed the pharmaceutical and other organic pollutants from urban wastewater at a price that is 10X lower than alternative solutions. Pharem aims to equip 50 WWTPs by 2020, for a turnover of €30M+.

Field of science

  • /medical and health sciences/health sciences/public and environmental health
  • /social sciences/other social sciences/social sciences interdisciplinary/sustainable development
  • /medical and health sciences/basic medicine/pharmacology and pharmacy/drug resistance/antibiotic resistance
  • /natural sciences/biological sciences/biochemistry/biomolecules/proteins/enzymes
  • /engineering and technology/environmental engineering/water treatment processes/drinking water treatment processes
  • /engineering and technology/environmental engineering/water treatment processes/wastewater treatment processes
  • /social sciences/economics and business/business and management/commerce

Call for proposal

H2020-SMEINST-1-2016-2017
See other projects for this call

Funding Scheme

SME-1 - SME instrument phase 1

Coordinator

PHAREM BIOTECH AB
Address
Levertinsgatan 30-1202
754 30 Uppsala
Sweden
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
EU contribution
€ 50 000