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Removal of pharmaceuticals from secondary effluents by an electro-peroxone process
- Yao, Weikun, Wang, Xiaofeng, Yang, Hongwei, Yu, Gang, Deng, Shubo, Huang, Jun, Wang, Bin, Wang, Yujue
- Water research 2016 v.88 pp. 826-835
- clofibric acid, diclofenac, effluents, electrochemistry, energy, gemfibrozil, hydrogen peroxide, ibuprofen, organic matter, oxidation, oxygen, ozonation, ozone, wastewater treatment
- This study compared the removal of pharmaceuticals from secondary effluents of wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) by conventional ozonation and the electro-peroxone (E-peroxone) process, which involves electrochemically generating H2O2 in-situ from O2 in sparged O2 and O3 gas mixture (i.e., ozone generator effluent) during ozonation. Several pharmaceuticals with kO3 ranging from <0.1 to 6.8 × 105 M−1 s−1 were spiked into four secondary effluents collected from different WWTPs, and then treated by ozonation and the E-peroxone process. Results show that both processes can rapidly remove ozone reactive pharmaceuticals (diclofenac and gemfibrozil), while the E-peroxone process can considerably accelerate the removal of ozone-refractory pharmaceuticals (e.g., ibuprofen and clofibric acid) via indirect oxidation with OH generated from the reaction of sparged O3 with electro-generated H2O2. Compared with ozonation, the E-peroxone process enhanced the removal kinetics of ozone-refractory pharmaceuticals in the four secondary effluents by ∼40–170%, and the enhancement was more pronounced in secondary effluents that had relatively lower effluent organic matter (EfOM). Due to its higher efficiency for removing ozone-refractory pharmaceuticals, the E-peroxone process reduced the reaction time and electrical energy consumption required to remove ≥90% of all spiked pharmaceuticals from the secondary effluents as compared to ozonation. These results indicate that the E-peroxone process may provide a simple and effective way to improve existing ozonation system for pharmaceutical removal from secondary effluents.