Micropollutants removal by full-scale UV-C/sulfate radical based Advanced Oxidation Processes.Sci Total Environ. 2018 Jul 15; 630:1216-1225.ST
The high chemical stability and the low biodegradability of a vast number of micropollutants (MPs) impede their correct treatment in urban wastewater treatment plants. In most cases, the chemical oxidation is the only way to abate them. Advanced Oxidation Processes (AOPs) have been experimentally proved as efficient in the removal of different micropollutants at lab-scale. However, there is not enough information about their application at full-scale. This manuscript reports the application of three different AOPs based on the addition of homogeneous oxidants [hydrogen peroxide, peroxymonosulfate (PMS) and persulfate anions (PS)], in the UV-C tertiary treatment of Estiviel wastewater treatment plant (Toledo, Spain) previously designed and installed in the facility for disinfection. AOPs based on the photolytic decomposition of oxidants have been demonstrated as more efficient than UV-C radiation alone on the removal of 25 different MPs using low dosages (0.05-0.5 mM) and very low UV-C contact time (4-18 s). Photolysis of PMS and H2O2 reached similar average MPs removal in all the range of oxidant dosages, obtaining the highest efficiency with 0.5 mM and 18 s of contact time (48 and 55% respectively). Nevertheless, PMS/UV-C reached slightly higher removal than H2O2/UV-C at low dosages. So, these treatments are selective to degrade the target compounds, obtaining different removal efficiencies for each compound regarding the oxidizing agent, dosages and UV-C contact time. In all the cases, H2O2/UV-C is more efficient than PMS/UV-C, comparing the ratio cost:efficiency (€/m3·order). Even H2O2/UV-C treatments are more efficient than UV-C alone. Thus, the addition of 0.5 mM of H2O2 compensates the increased of UV-C contact time and therefore the increase of electrical consumption, that it should be need to increase the removal of MPs by UV-C treatments alone.