LESS is MORE - Energy-efficient technologies for removal of pharmaceuticals and other contaminants of emerging concern

What is the project changing?

Pharmaceutical waste, contaminants of emerging concern (CECs) and antibiotic resistent bacteria need to be removed from wastewater during the wastewater treatment, before the substances reach the Baltic Sea. The project LESS IS MORE is testing new cost-efficient and energy-efficient treatment technologies in wastewater treatment plants.



What was the challenge?

The negative effects of pharmaceuticals on the ecosystem include hormonal disorders and behavioral changes. Pharmaceutical residues and other CECs are spread through Wastewater Treatment Plants (WWTPs) into the Baltic Sea. A change is thus needed in WWTPs. A key problem is the lack of energy-efficient solutions to remove micropollutants without potentially harmful transformation products. 

The project LESS IS MORE is therefore testing new energy-efficient and cost-efficient technologies in the South Baltic area.



What does the project create?

LESS IS MORE is installing demonstration units which will serve as demonstration plants for other municipalities WWTPs.

On the basis of the installed pilots the project will test and validate the energy-efficient treatment technologies.

A consolidated evaluation report will present the test results evaluating energy-efficiency and cost-efficiency of the treatment technologies.


Project website 

Find the LESS is MORE Project website here.


Project Outputs


LESS IS MORE - Peer Review Report for download

Peer Review Report

LESS IS MORE Flyer for download





Full project description

Outflows of pharmaceuticals and other contaminants of emerging concern, CECs, as well as antibiotic-resistant bacteria result in serious negative impacts on human health and on the ecosystem including hormonal disorders, behavioral changes and fatal infections for humans. The long-term aim of the project is to reduce the input of such substances from wastewater into the Baltic Sea through upgrading of WWTPs.
The specific project objective is to pilot -demonstrate, test and validate -  new technological solutions for removing pharmaceuticals and other CECs as well as antibiotic-resistant bacteria that are suitable for small and middle sized WWTPs and to disseminate information on new technologies to the end-users.
LESS IS MORE will deliver two main outputs, explicitly:
1. Pilot investments in technological solutions for removing pharmaceuticals and other CECs as well as antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
2. Removal technology solutions focusing on separation processes developed and presented in the form of blue prints and expert papers.
LESS IS MORE comprises four work packages and entails two innovative approaches: i) process-driven innovation by introducing the membrane early in the process line to improve the treatment process and enhance potential for reuse of energy and water; and ii) technology-driven innovation by developing and testing novel polishing technologies as a fourth treatment step in cooperation with technology suppliers (SMEs).
WP 1: Project Management.
WP 2: Communication and Dissemination.
WP 3: Installation of demonstration units.
WP 4: Testing and validation of energy efficient treatment technologies.
The project will directly result in new treatment solutions and technologies that can demonstrate a better total energy balance than existing solutions and that do not have a problem with potential harmful transformation products for the end users, notably the small and medium municipal WWTPs.


Project total eligible budget
2 299 325,00 EUR
1 752 399,75 EUR
Project start date
01 Jan 2018
Project end date
30 Jun 2021
Lead partner
Name: Lund University, Department of Chemical Engineering
Address: Naturvetarvägen 14 SE-221 00 Lund
Region/Subregion: Sydsverige
Country: Sweden
Project partner
Name: Sweden Water Research AB
Address: c/o Sydvatten AB, Hyllie Stationstorg 21 SE-215 32 Malmö
Region/Subregion: Sydsverige
Country: Sweden
Name: Kristianstad University
Address: Elmetorpsvägen 15 291 88 Kristianstad
Region/Subregion: Sydsverige
Country: Sweden
Name: Slagelse Utility
Address: Lilleøvej 3 4220 Korsør
Region/Subregion: Sjælland
Country: Denmark
Name: Slagelse Municipality
Address: Rådhuspladsen 11 4200 Slagelse
Region/Subregion: Sjælland
Country: Denmark
Name: JSC "Kretinga Water"
Address: Švyturio st. 2A LT-97157 Padvariai
Region/Subregion: Lithuania
Country: Lithuania
Name: Gdansk Water Fund
Address: TRAKT SW. WOJCIECHA 293 building C 80-001 Gdańsk
Region/Subregion: Pomorskie
Country: Poland
Category of intervention
085 Protection and enhancement of biodiversity, nature protection and green infrastructure