Continuous Catalytic Wet Hydrogen Peroxide Oxidation (CWHPO) for the treatment of a petrochemical industry wastewater has been studied on a pilot plant scale process. The installation, based on a catalytic fixed bed reactor (FBR) coupled with a stirred tank reactor (STR), shows an interesting alternative for the intensification of a continuous CWHPO treatment. Agglomerated SBA-15 silica-supported iron oxide (Fe2O3/SBA-15) was used as Fenton-like catalyst. Several variables such as the temperature and hydrogen peroxide concentration, as well as the capacity of the pilot plant for the treatment of inlet polluted streams with different dilution degrees were studied. Remarkable results in terms of TOC reduction and increased biodegradability were achieved using 160°C and moderate hydrogen peroxide initial concentration. Additionally, a good stability of the catalyst was evidenced for 8 hours of treatment with low iron leaching (less than 1 mg/L) under the best operating conditions.
Keywords: fixed bed reactor, petrochemical wastewater, pilot plant scale, SBA-15, wet peroxide oxidation