Background: The limitless presence of pharmaceutical contaminants in discharged wastewater has
emerged as a threat to aquatic species and humans. Their presence in drinking water has although raised substantial
concerns, very little is known about the fate and ecological impacts of these pollutants. As a result, these pollutants
are inevitably introduced to our food chain at trace concentrations. Unfortunately, the conventional wastewater
treatment techniques are unable to treat pharmaceuticals completely with practical limitations. The focus has now
been shifted towards nanotechnology for the successful remediation of these persistent pollutants. Thus, the current
review specifically focuses on providing readers brief yet sharp insights into applications of various nanomaterials
for the removal of pharmaceutical contaminants.
Methods: An exhaustive collection of bibliographic database was done with articles having high impact and citations
in relevant research domains. An in-depth analysis of screened papers was done through standard tools. Studies were
categorized according to the use of nanoscale materials as nano-adsorbents (graphene, carbon nanotubes), nanophotocatalysts
(metal, metal oxide), nano-filtration, and ozonation for promising alternative technologies for the
efficient removal of recalcitrant contaminants.
Results: A total of 365 research articles were selected. The contemporary advancements in the field of nanomaterials
for drinking and wastewater treatment have been thoroughly analyzed along with their future perspectives.
Conclusion: The recommendations provided in this article will be useful to adopt novel strategies for on-site removal
of the emerging contaminants in pharmaceutical effluents and related industries.
Keywords: Emerging pollutants, photocatalysis, nano adsorbents, immobilization, nanocomposites, carbon nanotubes, graphene.
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