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Toxic Impact of Commercial Biocides on Industrial Wastewater Treatment Systems

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Tests were conducted to determine the toxic impact of quaternary ammonium compounds, peracetic acid and chlorine on both anaerobic and aerobic biological treatment processes. The objective was to determine the level of biocide loading that could be handled continuously by a treatment process. The sustainable loading rates to anaerobic processes were 0.5 mg/L-d for quaternary ammonium compounds, 0.5 mg/L-d for peracetic acid, and 10 mg/L-d for chlorine. Aerobic systems could handle sustained peracetic acid loading rates up to 5 mg/L-d, chlorine loading rates of 50 mg/L-d, and quaternary ammonium loading rates of 20 mg/L-d. Biocides adversely affected nitrification reactions at lower loading rates than were toxic to carbonaceous biodegradation reactions. This information can be used to design and operate treatment processes to work effectively with the biocide levels in industrial wastewaters.

Keywords: biocide; chlorine; disinfection; peracetic acid; quaternary ammonium; toxicity

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2009

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  • Proceedings of the Water Environment Federation is an archive of papers published in the proceedings of the annual Water Environment Federation® Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC® ) and specialty conferences held since the year 2000. These proceedings are not peer reviewed.

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