Ozone and biofiltration as an alternative to reverse osmosis for removing PPCPs and micropollutants from treated wastewater

Carson Lee, Kerry J. Howe, Bruce M. Thomson

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

This pilot-scale research project investigated and compared the removal of pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs) and other micropollutants from treated wastewater by ozone/biofiltration and reverse osmosis (RO). The reduction in UV254 absorbance as a function of ozone dose correlated well with the reduction in nonbiodegradable dissolved organic carbon and simultaneous production of biodegradable dissolved organic carbon (BDOC). BDOC analyses demonstrated that ozone does not mineralize organics in treated wastewater and that biofiltration can remove the organic oxidation products of ozonation. Biofiltration is recommended for treatment of ozone contactor effluent to minimize the presence of unknown micropollutant oxidation products in the treated water. Ozone/biofiltration and RO were compared on the basis of micropollutant removal efficiency, energy consumption, and waste production. Ozone doses of 4–8 mg/L were nearly as effective as RO for removing micropollutants. When wider environmental impacts such as energy consumption, water recovery, and waste production are considered, ozone/biofiltration may be a more desirable process than RO for removing PPCPs and other trace organics from treated wastewater.
Original languageEnglish
JournalWater Research
Volume46
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)1005-1014
ISSN0043-1354
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2012

Keywords

  • PPCP removal
  • Micropollutant removal
  • Ozone
  • BDOC
  • Biofiltration
  • Reverse osmosis

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