Greywater treatment by Fenton, Photo-Fenton and UVC/H2O2 processes

Chin, W 2009, Greywater treatment by Fenton, Photo-Fenton and UVC/H2O2 processes, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Civil, Environmental and Chemical Engineering, RMIT University.


Document type: Thesis
Collection: Theses

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Title Greywater treatment by Fenton, Photo-Fenton and UVC/H2O2 processes
Author(s) Chin, W
Year 2009
Abstract Advanced oxidation processes (AOPs) have been used to treat drinking water and wastewater but their application to greywater is limited to photocatalysis. Therefore, three homogeneous AOPs were investigated in this project: Fenton, photo-Fenton, and UVC/H2O2 processes. Alum and ferrous sulphate coagulation were also compared and their supernatants were treated by UVC/H2O2. The process comparisons were based on the removal of chemical oxygen demand (COD), treatment type (physical separation versus chemical oxidation), sludge formation, complexity in operation, required pH, visual aesthetic of effluent and energy requirement.

Treating greywaters collected from the researcher's home or laboratory, alum coagulation achieved 73% COD removal and was more effective than ferrous sulphate coagulation (49%) and the Fenton process (45%). The photo-Fenton process removed 83% COD, compared with 87% by overnight settlement and subsequent UVC/H2O2 treatment. Using ferrous sulphate and alum, sequential coagulation and UVC/H2O2 treatment removed 91% and 98% COD, respectively. Overnight settlement generated little sludge and the subsequent UVC/H2O2 treatment removed most organic contaminants by oxidation. All other processes produced a large quantity of chemical sludge from coagulation which requires appropriate disposal. Also, the residual iron in some treated water was not aesthetically desirable.

The Fenton and photo-Fenton processes were complex and involved the optimisation of multiple parameters. Their requirement for different procedures according to the greywater type presents a major challenge to process design and operation.

Due to the non-selectivity of the hydroxyl radicals (●OH), the UVC/H2O2 process was capable of treating all greywaters collected by the researcher, and its operation was moderate in complexity. The COD removal was modelled as a pseudo first-order reaction in terms of H2O2 dosage: The rate constant (k´) increased linearly up to 10 mM H2O2, above which the excess H2O2 scavenged the ●OH and reduced the rate. The overall kinetics of COD removal followed a second-order equation of r = 0.0637 [COD][H2O2]. In contrast to the literature, operation of UVC/H2O2 in acidic conditions was not required and the enhanced COD removal at the initial pH of 10 was attributed to the dissociation of H2O2 to O2H-. Maintaining the pH at 10 or higher resulted in poorer COD removal due to the increased decomposition rate of H2O2 to O2 and H2O. The performance of the UVC/H2O2 treatment was unaffected for initial pH 3 - 10 with the initial total carbonate concentration (cT) of 3 mM. For initial cT ≥ 10 mM, operating between pH 3 and 5 was essential.

After 3 hours of the UVC/H2O2 treatment, the effluent met the requirement of Class B reclaimed water specified by the Environment Protection Authority of Victoria, and less than 1 org/100 mL of Escherichia coli survived. A subsequent treatment such as filtration may be required to meet more requirements for biochemical oxygen demand (BOD5), turbidity and total suspended solids. Since the biodegradability (as BOD5:COD) of the greywater was increased from 0.22 to 0.41 with 2 hours of UVC/H2O2 treatment, its integration with a subsequent biological treatment may be viable to reduce the costs and energy consumption associated with the UVC/H2O2 process.
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Institution RMIT University
School, Department or Centre Civil, Environmental and Chemical Engineering
Keyword(s) Graywater (Domestic wastewater)
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