Regeneration of spent adsorbents using homogeneous advanced oxidation

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The removal of organic contaminants from water by adsorption processes results in spent adsorbents, and, in this research, the use of homogeneous advanced oxidation processes for destructive regeneration of adsorbents is investigated.

These two homogeneous advanced oxidation processes are examined: hydrogen peroxide/ozone and ultraviolet light/hydrogen peroxide. The impacts of adsorbent, adsorbate, and temperature on regeneration were examined. The process was evaluated by the destruction efficiency, rate of regeneration, and the quantity of oxidants consumed.

This study demonstrates that the regeneration of adsorbents by homogeneous advanced oxidation is not practical. This paper does not suggest other advanced oxidation processes that employ Fentons reagant or heterogeneous reactions using photoreactive metal catalysts (that is, TiO2) are ineffective for regeneration of adsorbents. The regeneration rate was found to be much faster for smaller particle size adsorbents and weakly adsorbed compounds; in some cases, nearly 100% of the virgin capacity was recovered after regeneration. However, in all cases, the regeneration process consumes more oxidants than would be required by simply using a conventional advanced oxidation process for destroying organic contaminants. The high consumption of oxidants may be due to the slow rate of organic desorption and redox reactions with the adsorbent surface. Accordingly, regeneration processes using homogeneous advanced oxidation is not practical unless an adsorbent is developed that exhibits fast desorption kinetics and the surface does not react with the oxidants.


Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: May 1, 1995

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  • Water Environment Research® (WER®) publishes peer-reviewed research papers, research notes, state-of-the-art and critical reviews on original, fundamental and applied research in all scientific and technical areas related to water quality, pollution control, and management. An annual Literature Review provides a review of published books and articles on water quality topics from the previous year.

    Published as: Sewage Works Journal, 1928 - 1949; Sewage and Industrial Wastes, 1950 - 1959; Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, 1959 - Oct 1989; Research Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, Nov 1989 - 1991; Water Environment Research, 1992 - present.
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