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Neue Neustadt, Germany

Altmann J.,TU Berlin | Zietzschmann F.,TU Berlin | Geiling E.-L.,TU Berlin | Ruhl A.S.,TU Berlin | And 2 more authors.

The application of powdered activated carbon (PAC) as an advanced wastewater treatment step for the removal of organic micropollutants (OMP) necessitates complete separation of the PAC particles, e.g. by coagulation. In this study, potential positive or negative indirect or direct effects of coagulation on the adsorption of OMPs onto PAC in treated wastewater were investigated. Although the concentration of dissolved organic matter (DOM) was significantly reduced by coagulation, the selective removal of mainly larger DOM components such as biopolymers and humic substances did not improve subsequent OMP adsorption onto PAC, demonstrating that coagulation has minor effects on DOM constituents that are relevant for direct competition or pore blocking. The combination of coagulation and adsorption yielded the sum of the individual removals, as adsorption predominantly affected smaller compounds. While the formation of flocs led to visible incorporation of PAC particles, no significant mass transfer limitations impeded the OMP adsorption. As a result, the dosing sequence of coagulant and PAC is not critical for efficient adsorption of OMPs onto PAC. The relationships between adsorptive OMP removal and corresponding reduction of UV absorption at 254nm (UVA254) as a promising surrogate correlation for the real-time monitoring and PAC adjustment were affected by coagulation, leading to individual correlations depending on the water composition. Correcting for UVA254 reduction by coagulation produces adsorptive UVA254 removal, which correlates highly with OMP removal for different WWTP effluents and varying coagulant doses and can be applied in combined adsorption/coagulation processes to predict OMP removal and control PAC dosing. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. Source

Altmann J.,TU Berlin | Sperlich A.,Berliner Wasserbetriebe | Jekel M.,TU Berlin
Water Research

Direct addition of powdered activated carbon (PAC) to a deep-bed filter was investigated at pilot-scale as a single advanced treatment stage for simultaneous removal of organic micropollutants (OMPs) and phosphorus from secondary effluent. PAC doses of 10-50mg/L were assessed with regard to their impacts on filter performance and removal of 15 selected OMPs over a period of 18 months. The PAC was effectively retained by the filter and had no negative effect on filter head loss. Filter runtime until particle breakthrough depended mainly on coagulant dose and did not decrease significantly due to the additional PAC load. Removal of suspended solids and phosphorus by coagulation was effective independent of the PAC dose. A PAC dose of 35mg/L PAC was suitable to remove well-adsorbing OMPs (e.g. carbamazepine, diclofenac) by >80% and medium adsorbing OMPs (e.g. primidone, sulfamethoxazole) by 50-80%. Median removals were 50-80% for well-adsorbing and 30-50% for medium adsorbing OMPs with 20mg/L PAC. Abatement of all OMPs was low (<50%) with 10mg/L PAC, possibly because of the high effluent organic matter content (median dissolved organic carbon (DOC) concentrations of 11.2mg/L). In addition to adsorptive removal, relevant concentration decreases of certain OMPs (e.g. 4-formylaminoantipyrine) were attributed to biological transformation in the filter. Adsorption onto accumulating PAC in the top layer of the filter bed led to improved OMP adsorption with increasing filter runtime. The comparison of OMP removal in the pilot filter with laboratory adsorption tests demonstrates that batch test results can be applied to estimate adsorptive OMP removal in real applications. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. Source

Zietzschmann F.,TU Berlin | Worch E.,TU Dresden | Altmann J.,TU Berlin | Ruhl A.S.,TU Berlin | And 3 more authors.
Water Research

The competitive impacts of different fractions of wastewater treatment plant effluent organic matter (EfOM) on organic micro-pollutant (OMP) adsorption were investigated. The fractionation was accomplished using separation by nanofiltration (NF). The waters resulting from NF were additionally treated to obtain the same dissolved organic carbon (DOC) concentrations as the initial water. Using size exclusion chromatography (LC-OCD) it could be shown that the NF treatment resulted in an EfOM separation by size. Adsorption tests showed different competitive effects of the EfOM fractions with the OMP. While large EfOM compounds that were retained in NF demonstrated a reduced competition as compared to the raw water, the NF-permeating EfOM compounds showed an increased competition with the majority of the measured OMP. The effects of small size EfOM are particularly negative for OMP which are weak/moderate adsorbates. Adsorption analysis was carried out for the differently fractionized waters. The small sized EfOM contain better adsorbable compounds than the raw water while the large EfOM are less adsorbable. This explains the observed differences in the EfOM competitiveness. The equivalent background compound (EBC) model was applied to model competitive adsorption between OMP and EfOM and showed that the negative impacts of EfOM on OMP adsorption increase with decreasing size of the EfOM fractions. The results suggest that direct competition for adsorption sites on the internal surface of the activated carbon is more substantial than indirect competition due to pore access restriction by blockage. Another explication for reduced competition by large EfOM compounds could be the inability to enter and block the pores due to size exclusion. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. Source

Weyrauch P.,Kompetenzzentrum Wasser Berlin | Matzinger A.,Kompetenzzentrum Wasser Berlin | Pawlowsky-Reusing E.,Berliner Wasserbetriebe | Plume S.,Kompetenzzentrum Wasser Berlin | And 4 more authors.
Water Research

The present study examines the contribution of combined sewer overflows (CSO) to loads and concentrations of trace contaminants in receiving surface water. A simple method to assess the ratio of CSO to wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) effluents was applied to the urban River Spree in Berlin, Germany. The assessment indicated that annual loads are dominated by CSO for substances with removal in WWTP above ∼95%. Moreover, it showed that substances with high removal in WWTP can lead to concentration peaks in the river during CSO events. The calculated results could be verified based on eight years of monitoring data from the River Spree, collected between 2000 and 2007. Substances that are well removed in WWTP such as NTA (nitrilotriacetic acid) were found to occur in significantly increased concentration during CSO, while the concentration of substances that are poorly removable in WWTP such as EDTA (ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid) decreased in CSO-influenced samples due to dilution effects. The overall results indicate the potential importance of the CSO pathway of well-removable sewage-based trace contaminants to rivers. In particular, high concentrations during CSO events may be relevant for aquatic organisms. Given the results, it is suggested to include well-removable, sewage-based trace contaminants, a substance group often neglected in the past, in future studies on urban rivers in case of combined sewer systems. The presented methodology is suggested for a first assessment, since it is based solely on urban drainage data, which is available in most cities. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. Source

Remy C.,KompetenzZentrum Wasser Berlin gGmbH | Lesjean B.,KompetenzZentrum Wasser Berlin gGmbH | Waschnewski J.,Berliner Wasserbetriebe
Water Science and Technology

This study exemplifies the use of Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) as a tool to quantify the environmental impacts of processes for wastewater treatment. In a case study, the sludge treatment line of a large wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) is analysed in terms of cumulative energy demand and the emission of greenhouse gases (carbon footprint). Sludge treatment consists of anaerobic digestion, dewatering, drying, and disposal of stabilized sludge in mono- or co-incineration in power plants or cement kilns. All relevant forms of energy demand (electricity, heat, chemicals, fossil fuels, transport) and greenhouse gas emissions (fossil CO2, CH4, N2O) are accounted in the assessment, including the treatment of return liquor from dewatering in the WWTP. Results show that the existing process is positive in energy balance (-162 MJ/PECOD *a) and carbon footprint (-11.6 kg CO2-eq/PECOD * a) by supplying secondary products such as electricity from biogas production or mono-incineration and substituting fossil fuels in co-incineration. However, disposal routes for stabilized sludge differ considerably in their energy and greenhouse gas profiles. In total, LCA proves to be a suitable tool to support future investment decisions with information of environmental relevance on the impact of wastewater treatment, but also urban water systems in general. © 2013 IWA Publishing. Source

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