Evaluation of the biodegradability and toxicity of landfill leachates after pretreatment using advanced oxidative processes.Waste Manag. 2018 Jun; 76:606-613.WM
Leachate from urban solid waste landfills is a complex mixture of organic and inorganic substances that cause damage to the environment, due to the high concentration of recalcitrant organic matter and toxicity. The objective of this study was to apply advanced oxidation processes (AOP), namely the dark Fenton and solar photo-Fenton processes, to young and old landfill leachates prior to biological treatment. The leachates were obtained from the Seropedica and Gramacho landfill sites, respectively, located in Rio de Janeiro State, Brazil. For the two Fenton processes, different conditions of pH (1.5, 3.0 and 5.0) and Fe2+: H2O2 ratio (1:2, 1:5 and 1:10) were evaluated. Biodegradability was evaluated using the Zahn-Wellens methodology and Aliivibrio fischeri acute toxicity tests were conducted in order to predict the toxicity in the activated sludge. The best conditions for both Fenton processes were pH of 3.0 and Fe2+: H2O2 and CODRAW:H2O2 mass ratios of 1:5 and 1:1, respectively. The solar photo-Fenton process was more effective at improving the quality for both leachates, reaching COD, TOC and abs 254 nm reductions of 82%, 85% and 96.3%, respectively, for the Seropedica landfill leachate. In the case of the Gramacho landfill leachate, the corresponding reductions were 78.2, 80.7% and 91.1%, respectively. The biodegradability results for the untreated leachates from the Seropedica and Gramacho sites were 65% and 30% respectively. The biodegradability of both leachates was improved by the Fenton processes, especially the solar photo-Fenton process, which increased the leachate biodegradability to 89% (Seropedica) and 69% (Gramacho). For both leachates, a greater reduction in the acute toxicity was achieved with the solar photo-Fenton compared to the dark-Fenton process. The Seropedica landfill leachate showed high toxicity (EC50 = 33%, 15 min), after the dark Fenton and solar photo Fenton processes, with EC50 values of 81 and 91%, respectively. In the case of Gramacho landfill leachate toxicity, the EC50 value of the raw leachate was 13%, whereas after the dark Fenton and solar photo Fenton processes the corresponding values were 54% and 59%, respectively. These results indicate that the Fenton process (especially solar photo-Fenton), was efficient in terms of increasing the biodegradability and reducing the toxicity of the leachate. This is important in relation to protecting the microbiological community in the activated sludge process.