Detecting and removing freely water-soluble emerging contaminants calls for advanced materials and technologies. KWR develops knowledge about new materials and technologies to detect and remove emerging contaminants in the watercycle. We also disseminate this knowledge, enabling its valorisation. When monitoring water quality, the water sector can thus respond to any changes in a timely and accurate manner.
Detecting and removing polar substances
More and more emerging contaminants are present in the watercycle. Besides the need to assess the risks involved, it is important that technologies be developed to detect and remove these substances. It is mainly substances that freely dissolve in water, polar substances, that pose a problem. Advanced technologies are required to trace them, as are materials to which the substances can bond so that they can be removed from the water.
New materials and technologies
KWR develops, disseminates and valorises knowledge about new materials and technologies aimed at detecting and removing freely water-soluble emerging contaminants in the watercycle.
Detecting emerging contaminants using qualitative and quantitative methods such as:
- Broad screening: a new method to interpret large volumes of measurement data to detect low concentrations of a broad range of chemical substances in water. The method uses a combination of liquid chromatography, high-resolution mass spectrometry and software.
- Development of alternatives to affinity-based separation technologies, such as chromatography, and to plastics as a bonding material (e.g., silicone rubber).
Removal (extraction) of emerging contaminants through methods such as:
- Nanofiltration: a rapidly developing method for the separation, for example, of micropollutants and ions from water by means of membranes.
- Reverse osmosis: a method that involves the application of pressure to the natural process of osmosis for water treatment purposes.
Improved analysis and removal technologies
With the advent of new materials and technologies, water companies, waterboards and industry can improve and extend the analysis and removal methods for emerging contaminants. When monitoring water quality, they can thus respond to any changes in a timely and accurate manner. This allows them to continue complying with the demanding requirements for the supply of safe, reliable and sufficient (drinking) water.