Life Impetus Project: Removal of pharmaceutical contaminants in wastewater
2 July 2021

Life Impetus was a project coordinated by LNEC (Portugal’s National Laboratory of Civil Engineering) that aimed to assess the usefulness of activated carbon in removing pharmaceutical contaminants in Faro’s wastewater treatment plant. The study covered 20 pharmaceutical contaminants, some of which cannot be removed from the water using the plant’s existing treatment protocols. These contaminants, depending on their concentration levels when the treated water is discharged, can be harmful to public health, as well as to local ecosystems.

Salmon participated in the project. We provided technical assistance to identify the adequate activated carbon grade (Norit W 35) and corresponding dosage system, we supplied the activated carbon and provided continued assistance in the field.

The project demonstrated that adding Norit W 35 to wastewater significantly reduces the amount of pharmaceutical contaminants in the treated water. The activated carbon was also shown to be a cost-effective and energy-efficient solution.

The success of the project made Life Impetus one of the five finalists of the LIFE 2021 awards (environmental category), given by the European Commission.

LIFE is the European Union’s funding mechanism for environmental and climate action initiatives. Since it was created in 1992, it has funded over 4,000 projects in environmental protection and climate action, mobilizing €7.8 billion and directly funding a further €3.4 billion.