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Degradation of refractory organic contaminants in membrane concentrates from landfill leachate by a combined coagulation-ozonation process

Chen, Weiming, Gu, Zhepei, Wen, Peng, Li, Qibin
Chemosphere 2019 v.217 pp. 411-422
absorbance, benzene, bicarbonates, biodegradability, biological treatment, byproducts, chemical oxygen demand, chemical structure, coagulants, coagulation, color, fulvic acids, humic acids, landfill leachates, molecular weight, ozone, pH, wastewater
Landfill leachate is a typical refractory wastewater for which research into rapid and efficient treatment methods has become very topical. In this study, a coagulation-ozonation process was developed to treat the concentrate arising from membrane treatment of landfill leachate. The effect of coagulant type and initial pH on treatment efficiencies was investigated. Results showed that many of organics were effectively removed in the coagulation process. Thereafter, ozone was applied to further treat the coagulation-resistant organic substances. Our results revealed that the degradation rate of these coagulation-resistant substances followed the trend (color number) CN > (light absorbance at 254 nm) UV254 > (chemical oxygen demand) COD, and the residual coagulation-resistant substances were oxidized rapidly in the ozone process. Ozone first destroyed the molecular structure of fulvic acid and the by-products generated, such as protein-like substances. In addition, the molecular weight, organic condensation degree, and concentration of benzene ring compounds were considerably decreased. Moreover, the macro molecular organics (i.e., humic acid and fulvic acid) within the size range 1–100 kDa were effectively degraded and partially transformed into bicarbonate. Overall, the combined coagulation-ozonation process reduced COD, UV254, and CN in the landfill leachate concentrate by 88.32%, 94.37%, and 98.83%, respectively, and thus the biodegradability of the treated leachate also was significantly improved. This excellent performance proved the feasibility of the combined coagulation-ozonation process for the removal of recalcitrant organic substances contained in landfill leachate concentrate, benefiting subsequent biological treatment.