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Reference project

Advanced water treatment for micropollutant elimination and water reuse

Water treatment .
Kungsbacka municipality
Kungsbacka, Sweden
Public utility
Micropollutant removal and reuse of technical water


Mellifiq advanced water treatment process to disinfect and eliminate pharmaceutical residues in wastewater, enabling production of technical water for water reuse

Kungsbacka municipality, located 30 km south of Gothenburg, is working proactively to be at the forefront interms of water management, according to “reduce, reuse recycle”. Hence, Kungsbacka contacted Mellifiq to evaluatetechnologies for micropollutant removal and production of technical water for reuse. The delivery included twocontainerized water treatment systems incorporating the technologies ozonation, adsorption using granulatedactivated carbon (GAC), and membrane nanofiltration (NF). Additionally, the project scope included technicalconsulting and project management, as well as sizing of a full-scale quaternary treatment step.

The problem.

Most municipal wastewater treatment plants arenot configured to treat micropollutants such asactive pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs), per- andpolyfluorinated alkyl substances (PFAS), and microbialorganisms. As the micropollutants reach the recipient,they may bioaccumulate and negatively affect the aquaticenvironment. The treated wastewater contains pollutantsand is therefore not safe to use for other purposes.

Additionally, as the EU Urban Wastewater Directive iscurrently being revised, micropollutant treatment may berequired for all treatment plants with a sensitive recipient.The upcoming regulations on API-treatment enforce usinga quaternary treatment step, having an API-reduction of atleast 80%.

The solution.

To enable water reuse of treated wastewater, a modularadvanced water treatment system was utilized. Theprocess equipment for ozonation, adsorption withgranulated activated carbon (GAC) and membranenanofiltration were installed in a 20 ft and 10 ftcontainer, respectively. The equipment was installed inclose proximity to the treatment plant, treating a partflowof the wastewater effluent.Enclosed in the 20 ft container was the ozonationtreatment utilizing Mellifiq’s RENA Tellus system, whichis optimized for treatment of active pharmaceuticalingredients (APIs).

The system includes oxygen generation, ozonegeneration, dissolution of ozone into the liquid phase,reaction tank, piping, automation, and all necessarysafety features. Following the ozonation step, a WaterMaid FlexKarb adsorption system is installed. Thesystem includes automation for backwashing theadsorption filter in case required and the filtrationmedia consists of a specialized GAC, optimized forremoval of pharmaceutical substances. In the 10ft container, a Water Maid nanofiltration system isinstalled. The system includes a buffer tank, prefiltration,membrane modules, piping, and automation.

Solution facts.
Mellifiq delivery:
Two containerized treatment systems incorporating a RENA Tellus X-series ozone system, Water Maid FlexKarb adsorption filter activated carbon, and a Water Maid membrane nanofilter
15 m³/h
>98% API-treatment, >99% reduction of PFAS, >3 log reduction of microbial organisms


The project was evaluated during 6 months of operation,including different process scenarios and regularsampling to optimize the treatment efficiency and energyconsumption. The results yielded 98% reduction ofAPI-substances, >99% reduction of PFAS, and >3 logreduction in microbial activity (coliform bacteria, somaticcoliphages, and Escherichia coli).

Substances included in the revised urban wastewatertreatment directive (UWWTD) were analyzedspecifically, where 10 out of 13 substances weredetected. Among these were hydrochlorothiazide,metoprolol, diclofenac, venlafaxine, carbamazepine,and citalopram detected in concentrations rangingbetween 0.3 and 2.5 μg/L. In all evaluated processscenarios, the reduction of the APIs included in therevised UWWTD rate exceeded 88%.