UVC-based advanced oxidation processes for simultaneous removal of microcontaminants and pathogens from simulated municipal wastewater at pilot plant scale†
The challenge of providing good-quality reclaimed water free from contaminants of emerging concern, even at small concentrations, i.e., microcontaminants (MCs), and pathogens is one of the main hot topics worldwide. UVC-based advanced oxidation processes, using in situ production of strong oxidizing radicals, such as HO˙ and SO4˙−, have shown high oxidation rates for MCs; however, few studies have focused on the simultaneous removal of MCs and pathogens, like bacteria. Thus, the aim of this work was to assess the oxidation of six MCs, acetaminophen (ACT), caffeine, (CAF), carbamazepine (CBZ), trimethoprim (TMP), sulfamethoxazole (SMX), and diclofenac (DCF), in the presence of Escherichia coli, Enterococcus faecalis, and Salmonella enteritidis in a simulated effluent from a municipal wastewater treatment plant by the application of UVC/H2O2 and UVC/S2O82− processes at pilot plant scale. The concentration of MCs and bacteria was monitored along the oxidation processes as well as their regrowth after 24, 48, and 144 h. UVC-based processes were compared in terms of the required treatment time to remove at least 80% of the sum of MCs, regrowth assessment, and energy consumption. Despite the UVC/H2O2 and UVC/S2O82− processes showing similar results, even after using distinct molar concentrations, the UVC/H2O2 process did not exhibit bacterial regrowth under dark conditions. A simple model has also been proposed in this work with the main objective of calculating the minimum concentration of oxidants as a function of the radiation absorption at 254 nm in a given photo-reactor setup.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Drinking water oxidation and disinfection processes