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Trapping and Removal of X-ray Contrast Medium agents from water resource and stream Sediments- New Concepts in Trapping, Recycling and Management

Project description

New methodology for pharmaceutical wastewater treatment

Pharmaceuticals represent a major contributor to water contamination. Iodinated X-ray contrast medium agents (CMA) are used for the imaging of soft tissues in elevated doses for each imaging operation. CMAs are resistant to conventional biological wastewater treatment and have been detected at high concentrations not only in the effluents of wastewater treatment plants but in drinking water as well. The EU-funded REMEDI project will train early-stage researchers and future professionals in the domain of competitive use of water resources within an industrial environment, focussing on water scarcity provoked by pharmaceutical contamination. The project is a joint effort between the environmental company Tauw GmbH, the Polytechnic University of Milan and the University of Warwick.


REMEDI trains future professionals and scientists in the area of competitive use of water resources within an industry centered environment, targeting the problem of scarcity of water resources due to contamination by pharmaceuticals. Enhanced loading of water resources with pharmaceuticals is a key challenge in meeting the objectives of the EU Water Framework Directive. Iodinated X-ray contrast medium agents (CMA) are one type of the pharmaceuticals being used for the imaging of soft tissues which are typically administered in elevated doses for each imaging operation and excreted mainly nonmetabolized. The CMA are persistent during conventional biological wastewater treatments and therefore, CMA have been detected at elevated concentrations in the effluents of waste water treatment plants, surface waters, groundwater, and even in drinking water. Tauw GmbH is an environmental company which recognizes that design of strategies for treatment of water resources requires solid knowledge leading to new methods and approaches to trap pharmaceutical components in water treatment systems and in the sediments of lakes and rivers. Tauw GmbH does not have in-house resources to undertake the body of research required to set and develop. It has stimulated the REMEDI EID action, jointly with Politecnico di Milano and University of Warwick, to address these issues. Trapping of CMA involves the application of iron(Fe)- containing by-products from drinking water treatment. REMEDI aspires the ideas of a circular economy and aims at recovering the retained X-ray Contrast Media agents in water treatment systems, rivers and lakes. Novel technologies will be developed to convert CMA-loaded Fe-minerals into marketable products whose suitability will be evaluated. 5 ESR projects address these challenges with a level of interaction and synergy among academic and non-academic players leading to forming a cadre of scientists with skills apt to unravel complex environmental scenarios.


Net EU contribution
€ 522 999,36
20133 Milano

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Nord-Ovest Lombardia Milano
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Total cost
€ 522 999,36

Participants (2)