JOURNAL ARTICLE

AOX formation and elimination in the oxidative treatment of synthetic wastewaters in a UV-free surface reactor

Neval Baycan, Füsun Sengul, Erwin Thomanetz
Environmental Science and Pollution Research International 2005, 12 (3): 153-8
15986999

INTENTION, GOAL, SCOPE, BACKGROUND: The effect of chloride concentration and pH on the UV oxidation systems was examined. Phenol and methanol were used as organic substances. The treatment of these chemicals by UV oxidation using a newly developed lab scale pretest UV-Free Surface Reactor (UV-FSR) with and without Cl- addition at different pH values, is evaluated. Results of this study indicated that the Cl- concentration of the water and the chemical structure of the substances is more important than the pH of the water. There was no AOX at the beginning of the experiments, but a de-novo synthesis of AOX was observed during the batch experiments. This is caused by the high chloride content of the wastewaters. It can be supposed that OH-radicals oxidize some chloride-ions to form chlorine, which further reacts with organic compounds. During the treatment, these AOX compounds which are produced from the beginning of the reaction are destroyed again. Evaluations of these experiments were done according to TOC and AOX results. Approximately 80% and 99% TOC removal efficiencies were obtained for the treatment of Phenol and Methanol-containing wastewaters, respectively.

OBJECTIVE: In the literature, there are no relevant publications concerning the AOX formation of wastewater by wet oxidation-iron catalysed or by application of UV. For that reason, the main objectives of this study were: 1. to see the influence of chloride concentration and pH on the AOX(de.novo) formation with newly developed UV-Free Surface Reactor (UV-FSR), 2. to make a comparison of different AOPs, 3. to observe the effect of the chloride concentration on the TOC degradation efficiency, 4. to optimise reaction conditions.

METHODS: In synthetic wastewaters, Methanol (CH3OH) and Phenol (C6H5 OH) are used as pollutants. The concentration of each substance was 1000 mg/l and COD values were calculated theoretically. The H2O2 addition was calculated according to the COD with a convenient stoichiometric factor (e.g. 1). During experiments, the pH was always kept constant with the addition of either 25% H2SO4 or 33% NaOH depending on the experimental conditions. Each substance was treated with the addition of 1000 mg/l Cl-, 10000 mg/l Cl- and without Cl- addition at pH 3, pH 7 and pH 10, respectively. NaCl was used as a Cl- source. Adsorbable Organic Halogenides (AOX) were determined using a TOX analyser (European Standard EN 1485 H 14, 1996). TOC measurements were carried out using an Elementar High TOC Analyzer equipped with an auto sampler. The H2O2 concentration was measured according to German Standard Methods (DIN 38409, Part 15, 1987).

RESULTS AND DISCUSSION: The first step was to determine the effect of pH on the AOX formation in the process. Therefore, experiments were carried out at three different pHs: acidic (pH 3), neutral (pH 7) and basic (pH 10) conditions at a constant initial Methanol concentration of 1000 mg/l and a hydrogen peroxide concentration of 3185 mg/l (1 x stoichiometric). All results were evaluated according to applied pH. At these conditions, the amount of H2O2 (53 ml/10 l) concentration was nearly zero after 1 hour batch treatment of Methanol. There was no AOX at the beginning of the experiments, but the AOX value increased after 6-18 min. At the end of 1 hour batch treatment this produced AOX was treated again. The maximum AOX production was obtained with the addition of 10000 mg/l Cl-, whereas there is no AOX production during the experiment when Clwas not used. In all studies, however, TOC values decreased to almost zero after 1 hour batch treatment. After the experiments with Methanol, Phenol treatment was carried out at different pHs as a second experiment. pH was kept constant with the addition of either H2SO4 or NaOH depending on the experimental conditions. During experiments with Phenol, the colour of the water changed from colourless to a yellowish-red. After 1 hour treatment, the colour of the water was red. Therefore, these experiments were continued until the water became colourless again, and this took about 5 hours. Although there was no AOX at the beginning of the experiments, it increased after 30 min to 1 hour oxidation with the addition of 1000 mg/l Cl- and 10000 mg/l Cl-. There was no AOX production during the experiments when CI- was not added. At the end of 5 hours of treatment, formed AOX was degraded and the TOC concentration decreased from 766 mg/l to approximately 200 mg/l.

CONCLUSION: These experiments of this study showed that the effects of Cl- concentration of the water and the chemical structure of the substances is more than that of the pH on the AOX formation. During the batch experiments, a de-novo synthesis of AOX was observed very impressively due to the high chloride content of the wastewaters. It can be implied that OH-radicals oxidize some chloride-ions to form chlorine, which further reacts with organic compounds so that AOX(de novo) is formed. At the end of the reaction times these AOX compounds are also destroyed.

RECOMMENDATION AND OUTLOOK: It is more cost effective to use these processes for only purposes such as toxicity reduction, enhancement of biodegradability, decolourisation and removal of micropollutants. However, the most important point is the optimization of the reaction conditions for the process of concern. The AOP applied can be used, for instance, for AOX reduction and TOC removal of industrial wastewaters.

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