Effectiveness of Engineered and Natural Wastewater Treatment Processes for the Removal of Trace Organics in Water Reuse
KeywordsAdvanced oxidation processes
Tertiary wastewater treatment
Trace organic compounds
AdvisorSaez, Avelino E.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractDue to their potential health impact on human beings and ecosystems, persistent trace organic compounds (TOrCs) have aroused concern from both the public and professionals. In particular, the discharge of pharmaceuticals, endocrine disrupters, disinfection byproducts and other TOrCs from wastewater treatment plants into the environment is an area of extensive current research. This work studies the fate and treatments of TOrCs, with emphases on advanced oxidation processes (AOPs). This work presents predicted removal efficiencies of a variety of engineered and natural processes for 55 frequently encountered TOrCs in treated wastewater, based on previously reported data and using existing predictive models. Correlations between physicochemical and biological properties of TOrCs and treatment performance were explored. Removal of TOrCs in all processes investigated in this study was found to be sensitive to matrix effects. Heuristic guidelines for selection of sequenced treatment processes for TOrCs management were established. A field reconnaissance of natural process of TOrCs was conducted by analyzing the occurrence and fate of a suite of TOrCs, as well as estrogenic activity in water and sediments in the Santa Cruz River, an effluent-dependent stream in Tucson, Arizona. Some TOrCs, including contributors to estrogenic activity, were rapidly attenuated with distance of travel in the river. TOrCs that have low biodegradability and low octanolwater partitioning coefficients were less removed. Results of independent experiments indicated potential indirect photodegradation of estrogenic compound by reactive species generated from photolysis of effluent organic matter. Utilizing advanced oxidation processes (AOPs) as tertiary water and wastewater treatment is an option to prevent discharge of TOrCs into the environment. Compared to conventional AOPs, the ability of generating hydroxyl radicals (•OH) without additional doses of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) or ozone makes ultraviolet (UV) photolysis of ferric hydroxo complexes a novel AOP, especially in acidic environments. A Fe(III)/UV254 kinetic model, which combines Fenton-like mechanism, and photolyses of Fe3+, FeOH2+ and H2O2 was proposed and experimentally validated to predict Fenton-like and H2O2 direct UV254 photolysis scenarios, individually. Nevertheless, the model underestimated the ferrous ion development during Fe(III)/UV254 photolysis, perhaps due to the overprediction of the oxidation of Fe2+ by •OH. The UV/H2O2 AOP was also studied in this work. A predictive kinetic model was developed to evaluate process efficiency of oxidation of p-cresol by UV/H2O2 photolysis based on a complete reaction mechanism, including reactions of intermediates with •OH. Results of this study highlight the significance of consideration of radical scavenging effects by the byproducts from oxidation of organic matter in model prediction performance.
Degree ProgramGraduate College