Nazanin Moradi

PhD fellow


Nazanin Moradi received her BSc degree in Applied Chemistry from Arak University, Iran in 2008. Since then she worked for Water and Wastewater Consulting Engineers Company, Isfahan, Iran for 12 years until 2020. Meanwhile she started her MSc in 2016 and graduated with distinction in Environmental Health Engineering from Isfahan University of Medical sciences, Isfahan, Iran in 2018.

In her MSc thesis, Nazanin focused on wastewater treatment with emphasize on emerging pollutant. She   enhanced an AOP method for degradation of emerging pollutant Benzophenone-3 in aqueous solutions by synthesis of TiO2 nanoparticles and coating it on quartz tube with sol-gel method.

In 2020, she  has  been awarded a fellowship for her PhD at IHE Delft Institute for Water Education as a part of “NOMAD” Project (European Union’s Horizon 2020 Project ID: 863000) under supervision of  Prof Damir Brdjanovic, Dr Carlos Lopez, Dr Hector Garcia Hernandez and Dr Francisco Rubio.


Remove pharmaceutical active compounds from treated sludge supernatant

Research Summary

Organic waste represents a high percentage of global waste composition, ranging from 28% in high-income countries to a massive 64% in low income countries, with an average of 46% worldwide. Resulting GHG emissions pose a serious climate change threat. In the EU, 1.4 billion tonnes of manure are produced each year however, estimates suggest that less than 10% is currently actively managed. Anaerobic Digestion (AD) has been reported as a useful biotechnology able to transform the nutrients contained in organic waste including manure, crops, food waste and domestic wastewater into plant available forms. However, there are two main problems associated with digestate use. The first is that digestate contains high load of N and P that cause acidification and eutrophication. This problem has been addressed in many studies.

The second problem that is more or less missed in the researches is associated with the use of active pharmaceutical compounds including antibiotics and hormones for animal farming, which has increased over the last few decades. The ecological and toxic effects they cause include disrupting the normal growth of the living organisms, and development of antibiotic resistant bacteria.

Most of the studies in the area of digestate relied on the agronomic effect of digestate and its nutrients content, and particularly in the solid fraction, and overlooked the associated possible environmental risks related to Antibiotics.  This is also missing in many of the quality standard guidelines that countries have developed for digestate utilization. There are only a few studies about liquid fraction of the digestate and its antibiotics contains.

As digestate supernatant is almost thoroughly overlooked in the literature, thus this PhD project aims to improve an intensive management strategies for post- AD treatment for 1. Characterization of the digestation supernatant, and quantification of the antibiotics, 2. Further removal of Veterinary antibiotic from digestate supernatant, and 3. Determine the removal pathway and antibiotics by-products after post treatment.


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