Effect of matrix components on UV/H2O2 and UV/S2O8(2-) advanced oxidation processes for trace organic degradation in reverse osmosis brines from municipal wastewater reuse facilities.Water Res. 2016 Feb 01; 89:192-200.WR
When reverse osmosis brines from potable wastewater reuse plants are discharged to poorly-flushed estuaries, the concentrated organic contaminants are a concern for receiving water ecosystems. UV/hydrogen peroxide (UV/H2O2) and UV/persulfate (UV/S2O8(2-)) advanced oxidation processes (AOPs) may reduce contaminant burdens prior to discharge, but the effects of the high levels of halide, carbonate and effluent organic matter (EfOM) normally present in these brines are unclear. On the one hand, these substances may reduce process efficiency by scavenging reactive oxygen species (ROS), hydroxyl (OH) and sulfate (SO4(-) radicals. On the other, the daughter radicals generated by halide and carbonate scavenging may themselves degrade organics, offsetting the effect of ROS scavenging. UV/H2O2 and UV/S2O8(2-) AOPs were compared for degradation of five pharmaceuticals spiked into brines obtained from two reuse facilities and the RO influent from one of them. For UV/H2O2, EfOM scavenged ∼75% of the OH, reducing the degradation efficiency of the target contaminants to a similar extent; halide and carbonate scavenging and the reactivities of associated daughter radicals were less important. For UV/S2O8(2-), anions (mostly Cl(-)) scavenged ∼93% of the SO4(-). Because daughter radicals of Cl(-) contributed to contaminant degradation, the reduction in contaminant degradation efficiency was only ∼75-80%, with the reduction driven by daughter radical scavenging by EfOM. Conversion of SO4(-) to more selective halogen and carbonate radicals resulted in a wider range of degradation efficiencies among the contaminants. For both AOPs, 250 mJ/cm(2) average fluence achieved significant removal of four pharmaceuticals, with significantly better performance by UV/S2O8(2-) treatment for some constituents. Accounting for the lower brine flowrates, the energy output to achieve this fluence in brines is comparable to that often applied to RO permeates. However, much higher fluence was required for the least reactive pharmaceutical. Comparing AOP application to the RO influent or brine, equal or greater removal was achieved for brine treatment for comparable energy input. AOP treatment of brines could be applied to reduce, but not eliminate, contaminant burdens prior to discharge.