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Application of multiple toxicity tests in monitoring of landfill leachate treatment efficiency

Kalčíková, Gabriela, Zupančič, Marija, Levei, Erika Andrea, Miclean, Mirela, Englande, Andrew J., Žgajnar Gotvajn, Andreja
Environmental monitoring and assessment 2015 v.187 no.8 pp. 489
BTEX (benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, xylene), activated carbon, adsorption, air, alkalinity, bioassays, biochemical oxygen demand, chemical oxygen demand, chlorides, coagulation, landfill leachates, landfills, metals, monitoring, organic matter, oxidation, pollutants, polychlorinated biphenyls, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, tannery waste, toxicity, toxicity testing
Leachate from a closed landfill used for co-disposal of municipal and tannery waste was submitted to coagulation treatment, air stripping, adsorption on granular activated carbon, and Fenton oxidation with the aim to reduce toxicity of the leachate. Optimal operational conditions for each process were identified. The performance of the treatment was monitored by determination of organic matter (COD, DOC, BOD₅), inorganic components (N-NH₄ ⁺, Cl⁻, alkalinity, metals), organic compounds (BTEX, PAHs, PCBs, OCPs) while changes in toxicity were followed by multiple toxicity tests. Among the applied treatment techniques, adsorption on granular activated carbon was the most efficient method for removal of organic matter and metals while air stripping was the most efficient for removal of N-NH₄ ⁺ and reduction of toxicity. Lower reduction of organic matter content and toxicity was obtained during coagulation treatment. Fenton oxidation was effective for removal of COD; however, it negatively affected toxicity reduction. The combination of adsorption on granular activated carbon and air stripping led to an appreciable reduction of organic and inorganic pollutants and to leachate detoxification. Application of bioassays was helpful for assessing suitability of treatment methods and demonstrated that they are, together with physicochemical parameters, an indispensable part for monitoring of treatment efficiency.