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Develop Photocatalyst-Based Water Treatment Technology

Updated: Jan 4

Develop photocatalyst-based water treatment technology for the removal of antibiotic residue in aquaculture water/wastewater

Since antibiotics were introduced for infection control, it has saved countless lives and nowadays, antibiotics are not only used for human healthcare, but expanded to aquaculture and agriculture. The global antimicrobial consumption in aquaculture was projected to reach 13,600 tons by 2030 [1]. The increasing antibiotic use, particularly misuse and overuse has caused water potentially contaminated with antibiotics [2], resulting the antimicrobial resistant risks in the ecosystem, animal, and human health. According to WHO, antimicrobial resistant diseases cause at least 700 thousand dead each year and the number may reach 10 million by 2050 if no action is performed [3].

To prevent antimicrobial resistance, it requires multisectoral actions with different approaches from prevention to remedy methods. Prevention methods such as biosecurity and antibiotic use control help reduce or avoid antibiotic use thereby lessen the risk of antibiotic contamination [4]. However, once antibiotics enter water resources, it can exist for a long time and slowly accumulates in soil and aquatic animals, an important element in the food chain and consequently enhance the antimicrobial resistance. Therefore, it requires effective remedy technologies to remove antibiotic residue from water. Different technologies including adsorption, membrane filtration, advanced oxidation, and biodegradation processes have been considered to remove antibiotics contaminants. Among which advanced oxidation process based on photocatalyst has proved to be the most suitable technology for aquaculture water. This technology can completely degrade antibiotics by light irradiation without the addition of any chemical.