Assessing granular media filtration for the removal of chemical contaminants from wastewater
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Granular media filtration was evaluated for the removal of a suite of chemical contaminants that can be found in wastewater. Laboratory- and pilot-scale sand and granular activated carbon (GAC) filters were trialled for their ability to remove atrazine, estrone (E1), 17a-ethynylestradiol (EE2), N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), N-nitrosomorpholine (NMOR) and N-nitrosodiethylamine (NDEA). In general, sand filtration was ineffective in removing the contaminants from a tertiary treated wastewater, with the exception of E1 and EE2, where efficient removals were observed after approximately 150 d. Batch degradation experiments confirmed that the removal of E1 was through biological activity, with a pseudo-first-order degradation rate constant of 7.4 נ10(-3) h(-1). GAC filtration was initially able to effectively remove all contaminants; although removals decreased over time due to competition with other organics present in the water. The only exception was atrazine where removal remained consistently high throughout the experiment. Previously unreported differences were observed in the adsorption of the three nitrosamines, with the ease of removal following the trend, NDEA > NMOR > NDMA, consistent with their hydrophobic character. In most instances the removals from the pilot-scale filters were generally in agreement with the laboratory-scale filter, suggesting that there is potential in using laboratory-scale filters as monitoring tools to evaluate the performance of pilot- and possibly full-scale sand and GAC filters at wastewater treatment plants.
Environmental Science and Management not elsewhere classified