Engineering of novel ozonation activation catalysts to degrade micropollutants

Project summary

The uncontrolled release of micropollutants predominantly in ineffectively treated sewage treatment plant (STP) effluents is emerging as being of significant detriment to aquatic environments worldwide. A practical approach to treat these recalcitrant pollutants is to oxidise them into benign biodegradable compounds and/or carbon dioxide. The current state of the art techniques (e.g. adsorption, separation biological) for removing such pollutants are not universally effective in some instances (for all micropollutant classes), exhibit slow kinetics or are costly to implement. These problems can be overcome using catalytic ozonation as the oxidation treatment. However, there is a lack or limited development on ozonation catalysts in terms of its efficiency, specificity and cost render catalytic ozonation to be uneconomic compared to conventional ozonation and other oxidation technologies. Furthermore, there is limited information known regarding mechanistic pathways for effective degradation of pharmaceutical and micropollutant to achieve zero toxic by –product.

The project here aims to engineer unique catalyst designed to accelerate catalytic ozonation of waters contaminated with pharmaceuticals and other recalcitrant pollutants. PhD projects are available to develop, characterise, and evaluate the ozonation catalysts and establish analytical protocols to study the degradation mechanisms of the targeted micropollutants.
The project is an industry funded project and there might be possibility for the PhD student to travel to industry partner.