Advanced analytics and environmental fate of pharmaceuticals

UoB has developed advanced analytical techniques to detect pharmaceuticals, personal care products and illicit drugs in water. Our methods are able to detect chiral compounds and distinguish between the different stereo-isomers. This provides new information on the origin and fate of compounds, shows whether or not compounds have been metabolised, and are an important indicator for ecotoxicity. This project is done in collaboration with Wessex Water and part of the ITN Sewprof.

  • Micro-pollutants e.g. pharmaceuticals, illicit drugs and personal care products are of concern. Legislation is likely to require removal of such compounds
  • New methods are needed to detect these compounds at very low concentrations
  • Chiral compounds
  • Total concentration in surface water can be high (up to ~30 µg/L), Large contribution of metformin and guanylurea
    Loads of pharmaceuticals (& TPs) in surface water can be predicted from consumption
  • Consumption based prediction rather accurate, it is now used to spatially model impact of STPs
  • To improve surface water quality an large scale international approach is required