IVL Svenska Miljöinstitutet (The Swedish Environmnetal Research Institute) has today issued a press release concerning a new study using activated carbon to remove pharmaceuticals residues from waste water. The study was conducted at the waste water treatment pilot plant Hammarby Sjöstadsverk. Activated carbon has been studied several times before, for instance by Stockholm Vatten in their "Pharmaceutical project" which I commented here at the blog back in Dec 11, 2009. The good results in removing contaminants using activated carbon probably don't surprise anybody, but high costs have often been ragarded to be a potential issue.
IVL has in the present study used a "modified method" with columns filled with granulated activated carbon. The capacity of the carbon has been increased 5 times, and hence, the method is not only effective when it comes to removal of pharmaceuticals (e.g. metopropol, oxazepam and diclofenac), costs come down to other treatment techniques such as ozone treatment.
Read more in the press release.