Tertiary ozonation of industrial wastewater for the removal of estrogenic compounds (NP and BPA): a full-scale case study

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Wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) effluents are considered to be a major source for the release in the aquatic environment of endocrine-disrupting compounds (EDCs). Ozone has proved to be a suitable solution for polishing secondary domestic effluents. In this work, the performance of a full-scale ozonation plant was investigated in order to assess the removal efficiency of four target EDCs: nonylphenol, nonylphenol monoethoxylate, nonylphenol diethoxylate and bisphenol A. The studied system was the tertiary treatment stage of a municipal WWTP which receives an important industrial (textile) load. Chemical analyses showed that the considered substances occurred with a significant variability, typical of real wastewaters; based on this, ozonation performance was carefully evaluated and it appeared to be negatively affected by flow-rate increase (during rainy days, with consequent contact time reduction). Moreover, EDCs' measured removal efficiency was lower than what could be predicted based on literature data, because of the relatively high residual content of biorefractory compounds still present after biological treatment.

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