Review on the fate of organic micropollutants in wastewater treatment and water reuse with membranes

H Siegrist, A Joss
Water Science and Technology: a Journal of the International Association on Water Pollution Research 2012, 66 (6): 1369-76
A brief review of the fate of micropollutants in membrane-based wastewater treatment due to sorption, stripping, biological degradation/transformation and membrane separation is discussed, to give an overview of these technologies due to the growing importance for water reuse purposes. Compared with conventional activated sludge treatment (CAS) micropollutant removal in membrane bioreactor (MBR) is slightly improved due to complete suspended solids removal and increased sludge age. For discharge to sensitive receiving waters advanced treatment, such as post-ozonation or activated carbon adsorption, is recommended. In water reuse plants nanofiltration (NF) and reverse osmosis (RO) efficiently reject micropollutants due to size exclusions as well as electrostatic and hydrophobic effects reaching potable quality. To remove micropollutants fully, additionally post-ozone or the addition of powdered activated carbon (PAC) have to be applied, which in parallel also reduce NDMA precursors. The concentrate has to be treated if disposed to sensitive receiving waters due to its high micropollutant concentration and ecotoxicity potential. The present review summarizes principles and capabilities for the most important membrane-based applications for wastewater treatment, i.e. porous membranes in MBRs (micro- or ultrafiltration) and dense membrane applications (NF and RO) for water reuse.

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