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New CRP: Radiation Technologies for Treatment of Emerging Organic Pollutants (F23034)

New Coordinated Research Project

Participants in IAEA Technical Meeting in Suzhou, China.  (Photo: IAEA)

The IAEA is launching a new Coordinated Research Project (CRP) for developing radiation technologies for treatment of Emerging Organic Pollutants (EOPs) for the period 2019-2023. EOPs are a new category of pollutants whose effects on human and animal health are becoming a matter of public concern, even at the trace levels. Although low levels of emerging contaminants such as endocrine-disrupting compounds, antibiotics in water and polyfluorinated compounds in soils may not cause an immediate lethal effect to people, they could have chronic effects on human and animal health and the ecosystem in general.

Conventional water treatment technologies that incorporate filtration, chemical and biological treatment, are often inherently unable to remove low levels of pollutants. New technologies, based on advanced oxidation reduction process (AORP) involving free radicals, hold promise. In particular, radiation technologies can mitigate the effects of EOPs by degrading them alone, or in combination with other treatment technologies.

IAEA-supported programmes in Member States have successfully harnessed radiation technologies to treat conventional organic pollutants. There is now a need to harness radiation technologies to address the environmental pollution caused by EOPs. To effectively address EOPs, a multidisciplinary approach that includes development of new analytical methods to detect pollutants of concern, deeper understanding of pollutant degradation mechanisms, evaluation of the residual toxicity of degradation products, and integration of radiation technologies with other conventional and existing advanced oxidation process technologies is needed.

CRP Overall Objective:

The overall objective of this CRP is development, demonstration, and deployment of radiation technologies for the degradation of emerging organic pollutants and enhanced capability of Member States for managing EOPs using radiation technologies.

Specific Research Objectives:

  • To develop deeper understanding of the radical chemistries of degradation of EOPs by radiation technologies.
  • To establish appropriate toxicity measurement assays to verify toxic by-products formed.
  • To refine or develop analytical methods to detect ultra-low levels of EOPs and their radiation degradation by-products.
  • To identify synergistic effects of applying radiation technologies with other conventional treatment processes.
  • To optimize the process parameters to achieve efficient degradation of target EOPs.
  • To formulate standard operating procedures for the radiation processes for treating EOPs by the different radiation treatment technologies.
  • To perform economic feasibility analysis for radiation technology-based degradation of emerging organic pollutants.


How to join the CRP

Please submit your Proposal for Research Contract or Agreement by email to the IAEA's Research Contracts Administration Section, using the appropriate template on the CRA website. Applications should be submitted by 30 April 2019.

For further information related to this CRP, potential applicants should write to the Research Contracts Administration Contact Point


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