Removal of pharmaceutical and personal care products in aquatic plant-based systems

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2 Citations (Scopus)


The use of pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs) is growing as they are used not only for treatment but also for prevention of illnesses. In wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) many PPCPs are not completely degraded/removed, which contributes for their frequent detection in, e.g. salt marsh areas. These areas may be considered a sink, source and cycling centre of contaminants on the receiving water body flow rate. In this chapter, a study about the potential of salt marsh plants Halimione portulacoides and/or Spartina maritima for the removal of three PPCPs, caffeine (CAFF), oxybenzone (HMB) and triclosan (TCS), is summarized. Experiments, at microcosms level, had two main aims: (1) the simulation of natural estuarine environment and study of dispersion mechanisms and “natural” remediation potential of target PPCPs and (2) the optimization of biological treatment technologies in WWTPs by simulating constructed wetland composed by plants and light expanded clay aggregates (LECA). Results indicate that either in estuaries or in WWTP the presence of a physical support can help to decrease contaminant levels mainly through sorption processes. The tested salt marsh species also showed potential to directly or indirectly promote the remediation of contaminants. In any case the remediation potential and dispersion mechanism are highly dependent from the characteristics of contaminants, like octanol–water partition coefficient (Log K ow) and solubility.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationElectrokinetics Across Disciplines and Continents: New Strategies for Sustainable Development
Number of pages22
ISBN (Electronic)9783319201795
ISBN (Print)9783319201788
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Salt marsh plants
  • PPCPs
  • Elutriate
  • Sediment soaked in elutriate
  • Wastewater treatment plants
  • LECA


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