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Brisbane, Australia

Lawrence M.G.,University of Queensland | Keller J.,University of Queensland | Poussade Y.,Veolia Water Australia
Water Science and Technology | Year: 2010

Stable gadolinium (Gd) complexes have been used as paramagnetic contrast agents for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) for over 20 years, and have recently been identified as environmental contaminants. As the rare earth elements (REE), which include Gd, are able to be measured accurately at very low concentrations (e.g. Tb is measured at 7 fmol/kg in this study) using inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS), it is possible to determine the fate of this class of compounds during the production of purified recycled water from effluent. Coagulation and microfiltration have negligible removal, with the major removal step occurring across the reverse osmosis membrane where anthropogenic Gd (the amount of Gd attributable to MRI contrast agents) is reduced from 0.39 nmol/kg to 0.59 pmol/kg, a reduction of 99.85%. The RO concentrate has anthropogenic Gd concentrations of 2.6 nmol/kg, an increase in concentration in line with the design characteristics of the plant. The increased concentration in the RO concentrate may allow further development of anthropogenic Gd as a tracer of the fate of the RO concentrate in the environment. © IWA Publishing 2010. Source

Ayache C.,University of Queensland | Ayache C.,Veolia | Ayache C.,CNRS Poitiers Institute of Chemistry: Materials and Natural Resources | Pidou M.,University of Queensland | And 7 more authors.
Water Research | Year: 2013

This study aims at comparing low-pressure membrane fouling obtained with two different secondary effluents at bench and pilot-scale based on the determination of two fouling indices: the total fouling index (TFI) and the hydraulically irreversible fouling index (HIFI). The main objective was to investigate if simpler and less costly bench-scale experimentation can substitute for pilot-scale trials when assessing the fouling potential of secondary effluent in large scale membrane filtration plants producing recycled water. Absolute values for specific flux and total fouling index for the bench-scale system were higher than those determined from pilot-scale, nevertheless a statistically significant correlation (r2 = 0.63, α = 0.1) was obtained for the total fouling index at both scales. On the contrary no such correlation was found for the hydraulically irreversible fouling index. Advanced water characterization tools such as excitation-emission matrix fluorescence spectroscopy (EEM) and liquid chromatography with organic carbon detection (LC-OCD) were used for the characterization of foulants. On the basis of statistical analysis, biopolymers and humic substances were found to be the major contribution to total fouling (r2 = 0.95 and r2 = 0.88, respectively). Adsorption of the low molecular weight neutral compounds to the membrane was attributed to hydraulically irreversible fouling (r2 = 0.67). © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. Source

Fujioka T.,University of Wollongong | Khan S.J.,University of New South Wales | McDonald J.A.,University of New South Wales | Henderson R.K.,University of New South Wales | And 5 more authors.
Journal of Membrane Science | Year: 2013

The impact of fouling on N-nitrosamine rejection by nanofiltration (NF) and reverse osmosis (RO) membranes was investigated in this study. Membrane fouling was simulated using tertiary treated effluent and several model fouling solutions (that contained sodium alginate, bovine serum albumin, humic acid or colloidal silica) to elucidate the changes in rejection behaviour of N-nitrosamines. In general, the rejection of N-nitrosamines increased when the membranes were fouled by tertiary effluent. The rejection of small molecular weight N-nitrosamines was most affected by membrane fouling. In particular, the rejection of N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) by the ESPA2 membrane increased from 34% to 73% after membrane fouling caused by tertiary effluent. The results also indicate that the impact was less apparent for the lowest permeability membrane (i.e., ESPAB), and the rejection of N-nitrosamines by the ESPAB membrane was over 82% regardless of membrane fouling. The effect of membrane fouling caused by model foulants on N-nitrosamine rejection was considerably less than that caused by tertiary effluent. Size exclusion chromatography analyses revealed that the tertiary effluent contains a high fraction of low molecular weight (<500. g/mol) organic substances. It appears that these low molecular weight foulants present in the tertiary effluent can restrict the solute pathway within the active skin layer of membranes, resulting in the observed increase of solute rejection. © 2012. Source

Fujioka T.,University of Wollongong | Nghiem L.D.,University of Wollongong | Khan S.J.,University of New South Wales | McDonald J.A.,University of New South Wales | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Membrane Science | Year: 2012

The rejection of eight N-nitrosamines was investigated in this laboratory-scale study, focusing on the influence of feed solution characteristics on their separation by low pressure reverse osmosis membranes. The rejection mechanisms of N-nitrosamines were first examined using one nanofiltration (NF90) and two reverse osmosis (TFC-HR and SWC5) membranes. The TFC-HR membrane was used to investigate the effects of feed solution characteristics. The rejection of a particular N-nitrosamine was generally membrane dependent and increased in the order of NF (NF90), low pressure RO (TFC-HR) and seawater RO (SWC5) membranes. In general, the rejection of N-nitrosamines by a given membrane also increased in the order of increasing molecular weight. These results suggested that steric hindrance was a dominating rejection mechanism of N-nitrosamines. Nevertheless, it was also observed from the result of N-nitrosomorpholine (NMOR) that the rejection of N-nitrosamines may also depend on other physicochemical properties such as hydrophobicity. A decrease in the feed solution pH (from 9 to 3) resulted in a decrease in the rejection of the two smallest molecular weight N-nitrosamines, namely N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) and N-nitrosomethylethylamine (NMEA). Changes in the feed solution ionic strength (from 26 to 260. mM) caused a discernible decrease only in NDMA rejection, while no apparent impact on rejection was observed for an increase in the feed concentration. On the other hand, it is striking that an increase in the feed temperature led to a significant decrease in the rejection of all N-nitrosamines and the impact was more pronounced for the small molecular weight N-nitrosamines. For example, a significant drop in NDMA rejection (from 49 to 25%) was observed as the feed temperature increased from 20 to 30 °C. The results also indicate that pH, ionic strength, and temperature of the feed solution can exert some influence on the rejection of NDMA and in some cases other N-nitrosamines. The combined effects of these feed solution characteristics, particularly feed temperature, may account for some of the variation of NDMA rejection by RO membranes previously reported in the literature. © 2012. Source

Mejia Likosova E.,University of Queensland | Keller J.,University of Queensland | Poussade Y.,Veolia Water Australia | Freguia S.,University of Queensland
Water Research | Year: 2014

During wastewater treatment and drinking water production, significant amounts of ferric sludge (comprising ferric oxy-hydroxides and FePO4) are generated that require disposal. This practice has a major impact on the overall treatment cost as a result of both chemical addition and the disposal of the generated chemical sludge. Iron sulfide (FeS) precipitation via sulfide addition to ferric phosphate (FePO4) sludge has been proven as an effective process for phosphate recovery. In turn, iron and sulfide could potentially be recovered from the FeS sludge, and recycled back to the process. In this work, a novel process was investigated at lab scale for the recovery of soluble iron and sulfide from FeS sludge. Soluble iron is regenerated electrochemically at a graphite anode, while sulfide is recovered at the cathode of the same electrochemical cell. Up to 60±18% soluble Fe and 46±11% sulfide were recovered on graphite granules for up-stream reuse. Peak current densities of 9.5±4.2Am-2 and minimum power requirements of 2.4±0.5kWhkgFe-1 were reached with real full strength FeS suspensions. Multiple consecutive runs of the electrochemical process were performed, leading to the successful demonstration of an integrated process, comprising FeS formation/separation and ferric/sulfide electrochemical regeneration. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. Source

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