Ozonation and biological activated carbon filtration of wastewater treatment plant effluents

Reungoat, J., Escher, B. I., Macova, M., Argaud, F. X., Gernjak, W. and Keller, J. (2012) Ozonation and biological activated carbon filtration of wastewater treatment plant effluents. Water Research, 46 3: 863-872. doi:10.1016/j.watres.2011.11.064

Author Reungoat, J.
Escher, B. I.
Macova, M.
Argaud, F. X.
Gernjak, W.
Keller, J.
Title Ozonation and biological activated carbon filtration of wastewater treatment plant effluents
Journal name Water Research   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0043-1354
Publication date 2012-03-01
Year available 2011
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.watres.2011.11.064
Volume 46
Issue 3
Start page 863
End page 872
Total pages 10
Place of publication London, U.K.
Publisher IWA Publishing
Collection year 2013
Language eng
Formatted abstract
This study investigates the fate of trace organic chemicals (TrOCs) in three full-scale reclamation plants using ozonation followed by biological activated carbon (BAC) filtration to treat wastewater treatment plant effluents. Chemical analysis was used to quantify a wide range of TrOCs and combined with bioanalytical tools to assess non-specific toxicity (Microtox assay) and estrogenicity (E-SCREEN assay). Limited dissolved organic carbon (DOC) removal (<10%) was observed in the ozonation stages showing that oxidation leads to the formation of transformation products rather than mineralization. The quantified TrOCs were removed to a degree highly dependent on the compounds’ structures and the specific ozone dose(mgO3 mgDOC−1). Non-specific toxicity was reduced by 31–39%, demonstrating that the mixture of remaining parent compounds and their transformation products as well as newly formed oxidation by-products had an overall lower toxic potential than the mixture of parent compounds. Estrogenicity was reduced by more than 87% indicating that the transformation products of the estrogenic chemicals lost their specific toxicity potential. The subsequent BAC filtration removed between 20 and 50% of the DOC depending on the plant configuration, likely due to biodegradation of organic matter. The filtration was also able to reduce the concentrations of most of the remaining TrOCs by up to 99%, and reduce non-specific toxicity by 33–54%. Overall, the combination of ozonation and BAC filtration can achieve removals of 50% for DOC and more than 90% for a wide range of TrOCs as well as a reduction of 70% of non-specific toxicity and more than 95% of estrogenicity. This process combination is therefore suggested as an effective barrier to reduce the discharge of TrOCs into the environment or their presence in water recycling schemes.

Highlights: ► Removal of trace organic chemicals and reduction of toxicity and estrogenicity. ► Three reclamation plants using ozonation followed by biological activated carbon. ► The combined treatment removes more than 90% of trace organic chemicals. ► Toxicity and estrogenicity are reduced by up to 70% and 95% respectively. ► Performance depends on ozone dose and filtration time.
Keyword Ozonation
Biological activated carbon
Baselinetoxicity equivalent
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Available online 2 December 2011.

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Created: Tue, 10 Jan 2012, 12:01:06 EST by Dr Julien Reungoat on behalf of Advanced Water Management Centre