Removal of micropollutants by biofilms: current approaches and future prospects

Aleksei Petropavlovskii, Mika Sillanpää

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


While the removal of micropollutants, including pharmaceuticals and other personal and health care products along with pesticides, cyanobacterial metabolites and other compounds, presents an increasing challenge, different technologies aimed at their elimination from both drinking water and wastewater are in use or being tested. Traditional activated sludge (AS) as well as the technology using a combination of AS and membrane filters (the so-called membrane bioreactors) are not sufficient and biofilm technologies seem to be one of the options. This review discusses how biofilms can be used for micropollutant (MP) treatment in aerobic and anaerobic environments on different types of surface, including sand, activated carbon, plastics and some other artificial surfaces and particles. It also considers the development of biofilms over time and changes in their performance in achieving MP elimination. The efficiency and limitations of current biofilm methods are discussed and possible areas for further development are suggested.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29-44
Number of pages16
JournalEnvironmental Technology Reviews
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • biofilms
  • biofiltration
  • metabolism
  • micropollutants
  • wastewater

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution


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