Ultraviolet (UV) disinfection of wastewater is adversely affected by the presence of particle-associated bacteria. Earlier studies have shown that disrupting these particles by ultrasonic cavitation can enhance the UV disinfection of wastewater. However, the use of ultrasound as a pretreatment technology for UV disinfection is hindered by its high energy demand. In this work, the addition of several organic solutes, including 1-propanol, 1-hexanol, and pentyl acetate, to promote the cavitation process and to improve the breakage of wastewater particles was examined. It was found that the enhancement in the cavitation and the breakage efficiency of particles was positively related to the hydrophobicity of surfactant. In addition, particle breakage was a function of the concentration of surfactant as well as the delivered ultrasound energy density. Sonication of wastewater samples containing small amounts of 1-hexanol (16 mM) or pentyl acetate (12 mM) increased the UV disinfection efficiency and decreased the required UV dose to achieve the disinfection target by a factor of more than 2.5.
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The authors wish to express their gratitude to the Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change Best In Science Program for financial support. We also thank Mr. Bill Dai and Miss Lyra Elliot, student research assistants in Environment Canada, for their help.
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Torres-Palma, R.A., Gibson, J., Droppo, I.G. et al. Surfactant-Assisted Sono-breakage of Wastewater Particles for Improved UV Disinfection. Water Air Soil Pollut 228, 106 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11270-017-3283-y
- Wastewater treatment
- Ultraviolet light
- Suspended particles