Advanced Oxidation Process (AOP) comparison was carried out on an effluent coming from cosmetic industry. Refractory COD was obtained after a complete biological treatment by membrane bioreactor (BIOSEP). Six oxidation treatments were compared for COD elimination: Fenton reagent, direct
photolysis with a low pressure UV lamp, O3 at acidic pH and pH 6.25, UV/O3, UV/H2O2, O3/H2O2, O3/UV/H2O2. The results obtained seem to indicate that removal of
COD of this specific solution was mainly due to radical mechanism. However, even if free radical are necessary, the best results are obtained with processes involving UV irradiation. Moreover, Fenton reagent offered a maximum COD elimination of 80% whatever the peroxide concentration,
presenting a fraction that may be more refractory toward free radical oxidation perhaps due to scavengers competition. Therefore, the components of the treated solution were removable by radical mechanism but a fraction needed UV photolysis to be completely oxidized. A comparison of the operating
cost of these processes shows that for a COD removal of more than 80% the catalytic UV treatment of this low load industrial wastewater was the most efficient and the most cost effective.
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