A comparative treatment of bleaching wastewater by physicochemical processes
The bleaching effluent discharged from a pulp and paper mill contains chlorinated organic compounds which are toxic to living matter. Physicochemical treatments such as coagulation and different advanced oxidation processes (AOPs) were employed for combined bleaching effluent generated from the first two stages (i.e. chlorination and alkali extraction) (pH = 3.5, chemical oxygen demand (COD) = 1,920 mg/L, and total organic carbon (TOC) = 663 mg/L). At optimum conditions (pH = 7.5, polyaluminium chloride (PAC) dose = 3.84 g/L and slow mixing time = 25 min), ∼68% removal in UV254 and ∼23% TOC removal was obtained during coagulation. Among various AOPs, UV/Fe2+/TiO2/H2O2 system showed the highest TOC and COD removals (∼78%) after 2 h duration (Fe2+:H2O2 molar ratio = 1:100). After the AOP process, chloride ion concentration and biodegradability of the treated wastewater was increased to 2,762 mg/L and 0.46 from an initial value of 2,131 mg/L and 0.29, respectively. The wastewater and sludge analysis showed oxidation and adsorption as the major mechanisms for organics removal. Upon reuse of the regenerated catalysts, TOC removal was reduced significantly. It was found that three times more sludge per unit TOC removal was generated after coagulation in comparison to that produced after UV/Fe2+/TiO2/H2O2 treatment.