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Wastewater Disinfection by Peracetic Acid: Assessment of Models for Tracking Residual Measurements and Inactivation

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With its potential for low (if any) disinfection byproduct formation and easy retrofit for chlorine contactors, peracetic acid (PAA) or use of PAA in combination with other disinfectant technologies may be an attractive alternative to chlorine-based disinfection. Examples of systems that might benefit from use of PAA are water reuse schemes or plants discharging to sensitive receiving water bodies. Though PAA is in use in numerous wastewater treatment plants in Europe, its chemical kinetics, microbial inactivation rates, and mode of action against microorganisms are not thoroughly understood.

This paper presents results from experimental studies of PAA demand, PAA decay, and microbial inactivation, with a complementary modeling analysis. Model results are used to evaluate techniques for measurement of PAA concentration and to develop hypotheses regarding the mode of action of PAA in bacterial inactivation. Kinetic and microbial inactivation rate data were collected for typical wastewaters and may be useful for engineers in evaluating whether to convert from chlorine to PAA disinfection.

Keywords: inactivation kinetics; peracetic acid; wastewater disinfection

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: July 1, 2007

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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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