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An Innovative and Energy-Efficient Radio Frequency Pretreatment on Emerging Micropollutants and Transformation Products in Anaerobic Sludge Digestion for Waste Reuse

Project description

An innovative proposal for wastewater management

The increasing quantity of sludge and the costs related to its disposal, as well as the strict regulations associated with this, represent an important issue in wastewater process management. The use of organic wastewater solids in agriculture is a low-cost option. Anaerobic digestion is normally used for the stabilisation of sludge before reusing the biosolids. Nevertheless, the presence of pharmaceutical and self-care products in sludge poses a threat to public health. The EU-funded RADIOFREPOLIS project aims to study an innovative radio frequency sludge pre-treatment before anaerobic digestion occurs. This will reduce toxicity by limiting the presence of pharmaceutical and self-care products to improve sludge quality.


Sludge management in wastewater treatment plants is still one of the most pressing issues due to dramatic increases in sludge production, disposal costs and increasing stringent regulatory restraints. As the most sustainable and cheapest disposal option, agricultural use of biosolids is encouraged as a part of a resource recovery solution by turning waste into a key resource. Anaerobic digestion is a common practice for sludge stabilization as an energy-efficient process before the beneficial reuse of biosolids. However, presence of the emerging micropollutants such as pharmaceutical and personal care products is creating potential human and environmental health threats despite the technological advancements in anaerobic sludge digestion. Europe needs to take immediate action for solving this issue; to safeguard the Union's citizens from environment-related pressures and risks to health and wellbeing within objectives of the EU 7th Environment Action Programme. RADIOFREPOLIS intends to investigate the occurrence and transformation of target pharmaceutical and personal care products by applying an innovative and energy-efficient radio frequency sludge pretreatment followed by anaerobic digestion as the first time in the literature for moving towards non-toxic environment. Proposed solution will reduce the uncontrolled release of micropollutants into the environment via sludge as well as reducing the quantity of excess sludge, improving the quality of sludge and increasing renewable energy to obtain a positive energy balance of the overall process, which will contribute to competitiveness of Europe. RADIOFREPOLIS will transfer knowledge on this newly acquired custom-built radio frequency heating technology to Europe and develop a novel project with multidisciplinary collaboration. Furthermore, this fellowship will increase knowledge and experience of the highly qualified researcher in area of environmental biotechnology where Europe needs highly trained researchers.


Net EU contribution
€ 242 709,12
34342 Istanbul

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İstanbul İstanbul İstanbul
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Other funding
€ 0,00

Partners (1)