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Multivariate analysis of a biologically activated carbon (BAC) system and its efficiency for removing PAHs and aliphatic hydrocarbons from wastewater polluted with petroleum products
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Chemistry.
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2009 (English)In: Journal of Hazardous Materials, ISSN 0304-3894, E-ISSN 1873-3336, Vol. 170, no 1, 103-110 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The efficiency of a biologically activated carbon system for treating wastewater polluted with petroleum products was examined and the effects of process parameters on its efficacy were evaluated. In each experiment 17 alkylated and 19 non-alkylated polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and total petroleum hydrocarbons (TPHs, C10-C40) were extracted using semipermeable membrane devices from wastewater before and after treatment. The acquired data during experiments were analyzed using principal component analysis (PCA). The treatment system robustly removed dissolved PAHs across the studied ranges of the process parameters, providing overall removal efficiencies of 96.9-99.7% for the sum of 36 PAHs. However, the major contributor to their removal was sorption rather than biodegradation, and despite the general efficiency of the process there was up to a 9-fold range in the sums of quantified PAHs in the effluents between experiments. Combinations of long process contact time (24 h) with high temperature (24 degrees C) and moderate oxygen concentration (6-7mg O2 L-1) resulted in good removal of bioavailable PAHs. The removal of TPHs was more dependent on biological activities during the wastewater treatment, and consequently more dependent on the process parameters. In addition, small but significant proportions of PAHs were volatilized and released during the wastewater treatment.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier , 2009. Vol. 170, no 1, 103-110 p.
Keyword [en]
Biodegradation, Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), Sorption, Semipermeable membrane devices (SPMDs), Total petroleum hydrocarbons (TPHs)
National Category
Environmental Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-23177DOI: 10.1016/j.jhazmat.2009.04.129PubMedID: 19482425OAI: diva2:220803
Available from: 2009-06-02 Created: 2009-06-02 Last updated: 2012-10-01Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Use and Development of Diffusive Samplers to Analyse the Fate of Polycyclic Aromatic Compounds, Polychlorinated Biphenyls and Pharmaceuticals in Wastewater Treatment Processes
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Use and Development of Diffusive Samplers to Analyse the Fate of Polycyclic Aromatic Compounds, Polychlorinated Biphenyls and Pharmaceuticals in Wastewater Treatment Processes
2008 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The efficiency of wastewater treatment systems is commonly measured by the reductions of parameters such as biological oxygen demand (BOD), chemical oxygen demand (COD) and total suspended solids (TSS) and/or reductions in levels of selected macro compounds (e.g. long-chained hydrocarbons and inorganic compounds). Less attention has generally been paid to micropollutants with high potential toxic effects, such as polycyclic aromatic compounds (PACs), including unsubstituted and alkylated polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and dibenzothiophenes, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), human pharmaceuticals and by-products formed during the treatment process. These organic micropollutants occur in wastewaters at trace and ultra-trace levels, therefore their detection requires advanced, costly analyses and large sample volumes. Furthermore, concentrations of micropollutants can fluctuate widely both diurnally and between days. Thus, in order to understand the fate of micropollutants in wastewaters there is a need to develop sampling techniques that allow representative samples to be readily collected.

In the work underlying this thesis two types of diffusive passive samplers, semipermeable membrane devices (SPMDs) and polar organic chemical integrative samplers (POCISs), were used to monitor non-polar and polar organic micropollutants in wastewaters subjected to various treatment processes. The pollutants sequestered in these samplers represent micropollutants in the dissolved phase that are available for aquatic organisms. Further, since they collect pollutants in an integrative manner, i.e. they sample continuously during the selected exposure time (usually approx. one to ca. three weeks), the results provide time-weighted average (TWA) concentrations. In addition, the effects of various environmental factors on the uptake of analyzed micropollutants in POCISs and SPMDs were investigated using laboratory calibration and in situ calibration with performance reference compounds (PRCs).

The results confirm that SPMDs are good sampling tools for investigating the efficacy of wastewater treatment processes for removing non-polar PACs and PCBs, and the effects of varying the process settings. In addition, analyses of process streams in municipal sewage treatment plants demonstrated that conventional sewage treatment processes are not optimized for removing dissolved four-ringed PAHs, some of the five-ringed PAHs, and tri- to hexa-chlorinated biphenyls. The removal of bioavailable PACs was enhanced by adding sorbents with high sorption capacities to the sludge used in the activated sludge treatment step, and a biologically activated carbon system was designed that robustly removed bioavailable PACs, with removal efficiencies of 96.9-99.7 percent across the tested ranges of five varied process parameters.

In situ SPMD calibration data acquired show that uptake of PACs, described by SPMD sampling rates (Rs), were four to eight times higher than published laboratory calibrated Rs values, mainly due to strong (bio)fouling and turbulence effects. In addition, the laboratory calibration study demonstrated that temperature affects the POCIS uptake of pharmaceuticals. The uptake of four pharmaceuticals was higher, by 10-56 percent, at 18 °C compared to 5 °C. For two of the pharmaceuticals our data indicate that the uptake was lower by 18-25 percent at 18 °C. Our results also indicate that uptake of the studied pharmaceuticals was in the linear phase throughout the 35 day exposure period at both temperatures. Finally, calibration studies enabled aqueous concentrations of micropollutants to be more accurately estimated from amounts collected in the passive samplers.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Kemi, 2008. 49 p.
bioavailable, biologically activated carbon, PRCs, sampling rate, SPMD, sorption, wastewater treatment, diffusive passive samplers, human pharmaceuticals, municipal sewage treatment plant, organic micropollutants, polycyclic aromatic compounds, PAHs, PCBs, POCIS
National Category
Environmental Sciences
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-1912 (URN)978-91-7264-688-9 (ISBN)
Public defence
2008-12-05, KB3A9, KBC, Umeå, 10:00 (English)
Available from: 2008-11-10 Created: 2008-11-10 Last updated: 2009-06-18Bibliographically approved

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Augulyte, LijanaBergqvist, Per-AndersAndersson, Patrik L
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