Reverse osmosis concentrate treatment by chemical oxidation and moving bed biofilm processes

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In the present work, four oxidation techniques were investigated (O3, O3/UV, H2O2/O3, O3/H2O2/UV) to pre-treat reverse osmosis (RO) concentrate before treatment in a moving-bed biofilm reactor (MBBR) system. Without previous oxidation, the MBBR was able to remove a small fraction of the chemical oxygen demand (COD) (5–20%) and dissolved organic carbon (DOC) (2–15%). When the concentrate was previously submitted to oxidation, DOC removal efficiencies in the MBBR increased to 40–55%. All the tested oxidation techniques improved concentrate biodegradability. The concentrate treated by the combined process (oxidation and MBBR) presented residual DOC and COD in the ranges of 6–12 and 25–41 mg L−1, respectively. Nitrification of the RO concentrate, pre-treated by oxidation, was observed in the MBBR. Ammonium removal was comprised between 54 and 79%. The results indicate that the MBBR was effective for the treatment of the RO concentrate, previously submitted to oxidation, generating water with an improved quality.

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