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Nonbiodegradable Organic Compounds Found in Automotive Spraybooth Scrubber Water

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Emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from painting operations are the largest source of manufacturing emissions for the automotive industry and are costly to control. While investigating the biological degradation of paint solvents in spraybooth scrubber water as a cost-effective VOC control scheme, it was discovered that a significant portion (10 to 20%) of dissolved organics in the water was not biodegradable. All detected paint solvents were degraded, however. Therefore, raw and biologically treated scrubber water samples were analyzed to identify and quantify the nonbiodegradable organics by combined chromatographic, spectroscopic, and thermogravimetric methods. Results indicate that the nonbiodegradable compounds consisted mostly of nitrogen-containing organic polymers (more than 70%) and other organics. The nitrogen-containing compounds are believed to have come mostly from paints and possibly from polymeric detackifiers. Other organics included silicon-containing compounds that might have come from paint additives and maintenance chemicals used at the plant.
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Keywords: ACTIVATED SLUDGE; AEROBIC TREATMENT; AUTOMOTIVE; NONBIODEGRADABLE ORGANICS; PAINT SLUDGE PIT WATER; PAINTS; SCRUBBERS; VOLATILE ORGANIC COMPOUNDS

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2000-07-01

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  • Water Environment Research (WER) is published monthly, including an annual Literature Review. A subscription to WER includes access to the latest content back to 1992, as well as access to fast track articles. An individual subscription is valid for 12 months from month of purchase.

    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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