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Advanced Treatment Process for Pharmaceuticals, Endocrine Disruptors, and Flame Retardants Removal

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The objective of this project was to demonstrate the effectiveness of an advanced treatment process that did not utilize reverse osmosis for the removal of pharmaceuticals, endocrine disruptors and flame retardants (collectively referred as contaminants of emerging concern [CECs]) from municipal effluent. The advanced treatment process consisted of (in the order of use): membrane filtration, ozonation (O3), and biologically active carbon (BAC) filtration. Ozone dosage of 5 mg/L or more was needed for desired CEC removal. Biologically active carbon removed flame retardants, and ozonation byproducts including NDMA and aldehydes. The project successfully demonstrated 1) the removal of a wide range of CECs, 2) reduction of estrogen activity to background levels, and 3) removal of ozonation byproducts. Treatment was achieved at lower costs and power utilization than reverse osmosis and without generating a concentrate stream. Results from this project could make CEC removal feasible, especially in situations where reverse osmosis treatment is infeasible.

Keywords: CECs; NDMA; advanced oxidation; biologically active filtration; contaminants of emerging concern; microconstituents; ozonation; ozonation byproducts; ozone-BAC; reverse osmosis; trace organics

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Stantec Consulting Services Inc., Rocklin California, USA

Publication date: February 1, 2014

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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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