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PRETREATMENT OF PHOSPHORUS PLANT PROCESS WASTEWATER CONTAINING ELEVATED LEVELS OF PHOSPHITE, HYPOPHOSPHITE, CYANIDE, AND HEAVY METALS

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Alternatives have been evaluated for the management of phosphorus plant wastewater stored in large surface impoundments. The wastewater contains total phosphorus and ortho-phosphate-P concentrations of 4000 and 2000 mg/L, respectively, the difference of which is primarily composed of phosphite and hypophosphite. The wastewater also contains significant levels of fluoride and zinc and lower levels of cyanide, soluble elemental phosphorus (P4), and other heavy metals including cadmium, arsenic, and antimony. The objectives of this work were to develop a cost-effect process for chemically oxidizing the reduced phosphorus compounds in the wastewater and to incorporate this strategy with traditional lime precipitation, solids separation, and neutralization processes. It was determined that both copper/heat-catalyzed hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) and potassium permanganate (KMnO4) oxidation were technically feasible, although subsequent investigation concluded that the H2O2-based process was more cost-effective and more favorable in terms of sludge management, residual cyanide, and dissolved solids in the treated effluent.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2003-01-01

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