Measurements and modeling for water disinfection

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Disinfection is one of the last stages of wastewater treatment, protecting from spread of pathogens affecting human health and environment. Chemical disinfection is based on the dosage of a biocide agent into wastewater.

In recent years, peracetic acid (PAA), a wide spectrum disinfectant, has been pointed out as a valuable option for wastewater disinfection. PAA is a chemical oxidant with high inactivation efficiency, low ecotoxic effect and it isn't persistent in environment. It is indeed a good alternative to sodium hypoclorite. Moreover, the disinfection-by-products formation is negligible. The main criticism in PAA disinfection lays in natural loss of reactant occurring in water after the dosage. In detail, PAA is affected by an almost instantaneous oxidative consumption followed by a gradual decay, according to the quality of the disinfected effluent.

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Disinfection is one of the last stages of wastewater treatment, protecting from spread of pathogens affecting human health and environment. Chemical disinfection is based on the dosage of a biocide agent into wastewater.

Generic placeholder image In recent years, peracetic acid (PAA), a wide spectrum disinfectant, has been pointed out as a valuable option for wastewater disinfection. PAA is a chemical oxidant with high inactivation efficiency, low ecotoxic effect and it isn't persistent in environment. It is indeed a good alternative to sodium hypoclorite. Moreover, the disinfection-by-products formation is negligible. The main criticism in PAA disinfection lays in natural loss of reactant occurring in water after the dosage. In detail, PAA is affected by an almost instantaneous oxidative consumption followed by a gradual decay, according to the quality of the disinfected effluent.

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Planned activities within PerFORM WATER 2030

Experimentation about wastewater chemical disinfection with peracetic acid are part of the Water research line in PerFORM WATER 2030. They include the design and realization of a pilot plant for the study and validation of a control strategy for the PAA disinfection process. Escherichia coli (E.coli) has been set as the target micro-organism, according to Italian legislation.

Objectives and expected results

  • Identification and validation of modeling tools to describe the contact tank hydrodynamics, PAA decay and E.coli inactivation.

  • Identification and validation of a control strategy for PAA dosage control.

Description of the activities

  • Design and realization of the pilot plant, fed by real secondary effluent from the wastewater treatment plant.

  • Start-up, operation and monitoring of the pilot plant, testing control strategy for PAA dosage control, under different operating conditions.

  • Kinetic parameters identifications of PAA decay and E.coli inactivation, by means of laboratory batch experiments.

Pilot site

The experimental activities will be located at Peschiera Borromeo 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

CAP Group and DICA-AMB Department of Politecnico di Milano cooperated for the pilot plant installation at the wastewater treatment plant in Peschiera Borromeo: CAP provided spaces and technical support for the pilot plant installation and conduction while POLIMI provided the pilot scale contact tank and the necessary instruments for the plant operations, designed the experimental plan and developed the strategy for process control.
Experimental activities were carried out by POLIMI, relying on the laboratory of the Peschiera Borromeo WWTP and the Environmental Engineering Laboratory at Politecnico di Milano.

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Go to the "Science & Tecnology" section for further information

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