Removal of AOX, total nitrogen and chlorinated lignin from bleached Kraft mill effluents by UV oxidation in the presence of hydrogen peroxide utilizing TiO(2) as photocatalyst

Mehmet Uğurlu, M Hamdi Karaoğlu
Environmental Science and Pollution Research International 2009, 16 (3): 265-73

BACKGROUND, AIM, AND SCOPE: The pulp and paper industry is the sixth largest polluter discharging a variety of gaseous, liquid, and solid wastes into the environment. Effluents from bleached Kraft mill effluents (BKME) are polluting waters to a great extent These effluents cause considerable damage to the receiving waters if discharged untreated since they have high levels of biological oxygen demand (BOD), chemical oxygen demand (COD), chlorinated compounds (measured as AOX), suspended solids (mainly fibers), fatty acids, tannins, resin acids, lignin and its derivatives, sulfur and sulfur compounds, etc. This study aimed to remove adsorbed organic halogen (AOX), total nitrogen, and lignin-degrading products in the wastewater (4,500 m(3)/h) from the paper mill in the pulp and paper industry, which is discharged to sea from a plant located in western Turkey.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: The photocatalytic degradation of AOX, total nitrogen, and chlorinated lignin in BKME have been investigated in different parameters, such as time, H(2)O(2) and TiO(2) concentration. In addition, for investigating the effect of chlorine on the removal of lignin, pure lignin solution was prepared in equal amounts to chlorinated lignin degradation products found in BKME. The same experiments were conducted for this solution. Experiments were carried out in photocatalytic reactor made of Pyrex glass. The mercury lamp was used as a radiation source. All irradiation was carried out under constant stirring. The existence of dissolved O(2) is an important factor which increases the photocatalytic degradation. Hence, we used an air pump for the aeration of the wastewater solutions. The temperature of the wastewater was controlled and adjusted to 25 degrees C by thermostat pump in conjunction with a cooler. At the end of all experiments, AOX, total nitrogen and lignin concentrations were analyzed according to standard methods. All experiments were performed in duplicate and average values were used.

RESULTS AND DISCUSSION: When the effect of H(2)O(2) and time were investigated, it was observed that the AOX concentration increased from 3.0 to 11.0 mg/L by only UV. However, when H(2)O(2) was added, AOX concentration decreased from approximately 3.0 to 0.0 mg/L. The optimal conditions for the removal of AOX appear to be an initial H(2)O(2) concentration of 20.0 mL/L and reaction time of 50 min. In addition, at the same experiment conditions, it was seen that the total nitrogen concentration decreased from 23.0 to 15.0 mg/L by only UV and by increasing H(2)O(2) concentration, the concentration of 20.0 mL/L H(2)O(2) appears to be optimal (9.0 mg/L). The AOX, total nitrogen and lignin degradation products and pure lignin go through a minimum when the concentration of H(2)O(2) and TiO(2) increases at constant pH and UV intensity. The kinetics for the degradation of AOX, total nitrogen and lignin degradation products followed a pseudo-first order law with respect to the products, and the degradation rates (min(-1)) for the UV/TiO(2)/H(2)O(2) system were higher than that of the corresponding values for the UV/H(2)O(2) system.

CONCLUSIONS: The AOX, total nitrogen and lignin concentration go through a minimum when the concentration of H(2)O(2) and TiO(2) increases at constant pH and UV intensity. It was found that the UV/TiO(2)/H(2)O(2) system has proved capable of the degradation of total nitrogen as well as chlorinated and degraded lignin in BKME.

RECOMMENDATIONS AND PERSPECTIVES: The photocatalytic process can be considered a suitable alternative for the remove of some compounds from the BKME. Nevertheless, further studies should be carried out to confirm the practical feasibility of BKME. Another result obtained from the study is that pre-purification carried out with UV/TiO(2)/H(2)O(2) photocatalytic process may constitute an important step for further purification processes such as adsorption, membrane processes, etc.

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