Drinking water quality and treatment
The challenge of the Drinking water quality and treatment area is to contribute decisively for increasing water supplies for human use, through enhanced technologies integrating membrane processes and advanced oxidation techniques (e.g., UV irradiation, ozonation, chlorination). Considering the overall scarcity of safe water, new sources of water will be used by effectively addressing the major barriers to source development: Organic (e.g. endocrine disruptors) and inorganic (e.g. oxyanions, such as perchlorate) micropollutant contamination; Microbial contaminants with pathogenicity and virulence; Biological, organic and inorganic fouling; Materials stability and aging; Eco-efficient management of residuals
Membrane processes not specifically operating on molecular mass exclusion mechanisms are investigated. Electrostatic interactions (for ionic micropollutants) and specific molecular recognition approaches are being developed when the problem to be tacked requires a selective approach, as may happen with biological and pharmaceutical compounds. Multi-barrier approaches are explored, namely combining advanced oxidation processes, catalytic compartments/interfaces and membrane barriers.