Characterisation of medical-waste sterilisation-plant wastewater and a preliminary study of coagulationflocculation treatment options

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Wastewater from a medical-waste sterilisation plant (MWSP) contains unique pollutants and requires on-site treatment to prevent contamination of the municipal sewage system and receiving water bodies. Therefore, to meet the prescribed discharge standards and comply with the legal regulations, pre-treatment must be applied to MWSP wastewater. In this study, the capabilities of coagulation–flocculation processes were investigated for MWSP wastewater treatment. Processes using ferric chloride, ferrous sulfate and aluminium sulfate as coagulants were characterised. During the coagulation experiments, seven different coagulant dosages and four different pH values were evaluated to determine the optimum coagulant dosage and pH value. The highest removal efficiency of chemical oxygen demand (COD) was obtained using 300 mg/L of ferric chloride at pH 10. A COD removal of about 60% as well as considerable reductions in the amounts of suspended solids, nitrogen and phosphorus were realised.

Keywords: coagulation–flocculation, medical waste, pre-treatment, sterilisation plant, wastewater

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