Micropollutants removal by chemical oxidation

Generic placeholder image The term "emerging contaminants" (or "contaminants of emerging concern") refers to various biologically active substances of anthropic origin such as personal care products, medicines, psychoactive substances associated with drug addiction, and their associated metabolites.
The presence of these substances in urban wastewater is considered one of the most important environmental issues of the last decade.
As part of the experiments related to the monitoring and removal of micropollutants and emerging contaminants, a study was carried out of a process of treatment of the final effluent of a waste water treatment plant for the purpose of removing the micro-polluting compounds.
The functional study of the process of removal of micropollutants is oriented, in particular, with a view to environmental sustainability with respect to the final receptors of wastewater, whether they are water bodies or soils.
The designed post-treatment will be based on a chemical oxidation process with ozone and/or AOPs (Advanced Oxidation Processes), combined with adsorption on activated carbons.
With the acronym AOPs we indicate a set of oxidation processes for water purification based on the use of oxidizing agents; oxidizing agents are introduced into the contaminated water to give rise to a rapid series of chemical reactions that lead to the complete oxidation of the polluting agents dissolved in the water to be treated.

Generic placeholder image

The term "emerging contaminants" (or "contaminants of emerging concern") refers to various biologically active substances of anthropic origin such as personal care products, medicines, psychoactive substances associated with drug addiction, and their associated metabolites.
The presence of these substances in urban wastewater is considered one of the most important environmental issues of the last decade.
As part of the experiments related to the monitoring and removal of micropollutants and emerging contaminants, a study was carried out of a process of treatment of the final effluent of a waste water treatment plant for the purpose of removing the micro-polluting compounds.
The functional study of the process of removal of micropollutants is oriented, in particular, with a view to environmental sustainability with respect to the final receptors of wastewater, whether they are water bodies or soils.
The designed post-treatment will be based on a chemical oxidation process with ozone and/or AOPs (Advanced Oxidation Processes), combined with adsorption on activated carbons.
With the acronym AOPs we indicate a set of oxidation processes for water purification based on the use of oxidizing agents; oxidizing agents are introduced into the contaminated water to give rise to a rapid series of chemical reactions that lead to the complete oxidation of the polluting agents dissolved in the water to be treated.


Planned activities within PerFORM WATER 2030

The experimental activities regarding micropollutants removal by chemical oxidation are part of the Water research line included in PerFORM WATER 2030.
The planned activities include the design and construction of a pilot plant for the treatment of about 1 m3/h of wastewater after the filtration. The pilot plant, with a total volume of 930 liters, consists of a double reaction column and an advanced oxidation compartment consisting of laboratory reactors from 1 to 5 liters for photolysis, photocatalysis, catalysis and an activated carbon adsorption (5-liter adsorption column).
The experimentation foresees three-months test campaigns with continuous pilot exercise at different operating conditions in terms of hydraulic residence time and ozone dosages. Based on the findings on emerging micropollutants, the effluent treated in the ozonation plant will be further processed by means of advanced chemical oxidation processes (AOPs).

Objectives and expected results

  • Study of the feasibility of the ozonation process and/or of AOPs processes, in the removal of emerging micropollutants.

  • Evaluation of the formation of reaction by-products and possible impact on the water body receptor.

  • Identification of optimal operating parameters and process modeling.

Description of the activities

  • Design and construction of a pilot scale plant for the treatment of the filtration effluent, as a tertiary treatment.

  • Start-up, operation and monitoring of the pilot-scale reactor, testing different operating conditions in order to verify the process performances in the removal of emerging micropollutants.

  • Advanced data analysis for process modeling.

Pilot site

The experimental activities will be located at San Giuliano Milanese West WWTP (Wastewater treatment plant) operated by CAP Group.
For further information, please refer to the specific web-page dedicated to demonstration sites of PerFORM WATER 2030.

Partners involved

S.I.A.D. S.p.A. carries out the design, construction, installation and management of the plant and also the analytical activity (chemical, microbiological and toxicity tests)
DICA-AMB Department of Politecnico di Milano provides the scientific support and basis for testing and data processing including the development of process modeling. Furthermore, POLIMI is directly supporting the execution of experimental activities.
IRSA-CNR executes analysis of emerging and non-emerging micropollutants, both on the effluent entering the pilot plant and on the treated effluent exiting the pilot plant.
CAP Group provides the San Giuliano Ovest WWTP, as the location of the pilot plant and the necessary electrical-hydraulic connections.

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