Environmental assessment of different advanced oxidation processes applied to a bleaching Kraft mill effluent

Iván Muñoz, Joan Rieradevall, Francesc Torrades, José Peral, Xavier Domènech
Chemosphere 2006, 62 (1): 9-16
Different advanced oxidation processes (AOPs) have been applied to remove the organic carbon content of a paper mill effluent originating from the Kraft pulp bleaching process. The considered AOPs were: TiO(2)-mediated heterogeneous photocatalysis, TiO(2)-mediated heterogeneous photocatalysis assisted with H(2)O(2), TiO(2)-mediated heterogeneous photocatalysis coupled with Fenton, photo-Fenton, ozonation and ozonation with UV-A light irradiation. The application of the selected AOPs all resulted in a considerable decrease in dissolved organic carbon (DOC) content with variable treatment efficiencies depending upon the nature/type of the applied AOP. A Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) study was used as a tool to compare the different AOPs in terms of their environmental impact. Heterogeneous photocatalysis coupled with the Fenton's reagent proved to have the lowest environmental impact accompanied with a moderate-to-high DOC removal rate. On the other hand, heterogeneous photocatalysis appeared to be the worst AOP both in terms of DOC abatement rate and environmental impact. For the studied AOPs, LCA has indicated that the environmental impact was attributable to the high electrical energy (power) consumption necessary to run a UV-A lamp or to produce ozone.

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