Water/wastewater monitoring & the development of advanced treatment technologies with focus on micropollutants-Rio de Janeiro, Brazil


  • Marcia Marques Department of Sanitary and Environmental Engineering, Rio de Janeiro State University - UERJ, Brazil


micropollutants, water monitoring, biological treatment, adsorption, photocatalysis


The Laboratory of Bioremediation, Phytotechnologies and Innovation in Water and
Wastewater Treatment (LABIFI), Department of Sanitary and Environmental Engineering, Rio
de Janeiro State University (UERJ) was created in 2008 and since then, its infrastructure and
analytical capacity been expanded, followed by continuous training of the technical staff and
post-graduation students. Different areas of scientific investigation carried out by professors,
doctors, PhD candidates and MSc students at LABIFI have the main focus on micropollutants
of increasing concern (MPs) such as pharmaceuticals and personal care products, including
detection in aqueous matrices (drinking water, wastewater, surface water), human health and
ecological risk assessment associated to MPs and the development of advanced water and
wastewater treatment technologies for MPs removal. Research has been conducted in the
following areas: (1) Development and validation of analytical methods and tools, including:
(1a) more sustainable methods for sample extraction/ preparation for chromatography (e.g.:
micro-extraction liquid-liquid dispersive-MELLD) reducing the volume of hazardous solvents
and preventing the use of cartridges (avoiding solid waste generation, reducing costs); (1b)
development and validation of analytical methods for the detection and quantification of MPs
by liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry; (2) Environmental monitoring of strategic
hydrographic basins/drinking water and Ecological Risk Assessment (ERA) of urban aquatic
ecosystems including chemical, ecotoxicological and ecological lines of evidence (LoE); (3)
Water and wastewater treatability studies, including: (3a) advanced biological processes with
multistage hybrid reactors, (3b) decentralized wastewater treatment plants (constructed
wetlands), (3c) phycoremediation (the use of microalgae for wastewater treatment), (3d)
adsorption processes with the development of biomaterial-based new adsorbents, (3e) advance
oxidation processes, including ozonation and heterogeneous photocatalysis; (4) Development
of new composite/nanocomposite materials with both sorptive-photocatalytic properties. The
main objective with the environmental monitoring and risk assessments is to supply decision
makers with useful information to prevent impacts to the environment and human health. The
goal with the development of advanced treatment techniques is to offer feasible and sustainable
technological options for the removal of MPs from both drinking water and aquatic ecosystems.


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Environmental Science and Engineering research group (ESEG)