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Removal of 31 organic micropollutants and phosphorus by filter media in a column experiment using household wastewater
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Sustainable development, Environmental science and Engineering.
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Sustainable development, Environmental science and Engineering, Water and Environmental Engineering.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-6617-4001
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

A bench-scale column experiment was performed to study the removal of 31 selected organic micropollutants (MPs) by lignite, xyloid lignite (Xylit), granular activated carbon (GAC), Polonite® and sand over a period of 12 weeks. The MPs analysed included an artificial sweetener, biocides, fragrances, organophosphates, perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs), pesticides, pharmaceuticals, a plasticiser, a polymer impurity, a preservative, a rubber additive, a surfactant and UV stabilisers. The removal of several MPs improved after four weeks in sand, Xylit, GAC and lignite which may be related to increased biological activity and biofilm development. In total 29 out of the 31 MPs showed a removal efficiency of >90% by GAC with an average removal of 97 ± 6%. Xylit and lignite were less efficient with an average removal of 80 ± 28% and 68 ± 29%, respectively. However, Xylit and lignite performed well for relatively hydrophobic (log Kow ≥3) MPs (i.e. hexachlorobenzene, galaxolide and tributylphosphate) with an average removal efficiency of 90 ± 5 % and 95 ± 4 %, respectively. The removal efficiency obtained with Xylit and lignite of moderately hydrophilic MPs (i.e. tris-(2-chloroethyl)phosphate), highly hydrophilic (i.e. sucralose) and negatively charged (i.e. PFOS and diclofenac) were lower (67 ± 35% for Xylit and 49 ± 26% for lignite). The organic sorbents were found to have more functional groups at their surfaces, which might explain the higher adsorption of MPs to these sorbents. GAC and sand had limited ability to remove phosphorus (12 ± 27% and 14 ± 2%, respectively), while the calcium-silicate material Polonite® precipitated phosphorus efficiently and increased the total phosphorus removal from 12% to 96% after the GAC filter.

Keywords [en]
micropollutants, phosphorus, sorbents, on-site sewage
National Category
Water Engineering
Research subject
Land and Water Resources Engineering
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-234664OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-234664DiVA, id: diva2:1246486
Funder
Swedish Research Council Formas, 216-2012-2101
Note

QC 20180907

Available from: 2018-09-07 Created: 2018-09-07 Last updated: 2018-09-07Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. An add-on filter technique to improve micropollutant removal and water quality in on-site sewage treatment facilities
Open this publication in new window or tab >>An add-on filter technique to improve micropollutant removal and water quality in on-site sewage treatment facilities
2018 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Onsite sewage treatment facilities (OSSFs) in Sweden currently release significant amounts of nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) into groundwater or/and receiving water bodies. Micropollutants (MPs) have been found in both surface water and groundwater, indicating insufficient removal of MPs by OSSFs. Two laboratory-scale column experiments, followed by a field experiment, were performed to study removal of a set of organic MPs by organic and inorganic sorbents. The set covered different product categories, e.g. an artificial sweetener, organophosphates, parabens, personal care products, perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs), pesticides, pharmaceuticals, a plasticiser, a polymer impurity, stimulants and surfactants. An experiment using five organic and five inorganic sorbents showed that coal-based organic sorbents performed better than natural fibre and inorganic sorbents in removal of MPs, with 20% higher removal efficiency on average. Five sorbents were selected for a long-term column experiment examining 31 MPs. Physical properties and chemical structure of the sorbents, namely pore structure and surface functional groups, were found to be correlated to their capacity for removal of MPs. Molecular weight, solvent-accessible area, octanol-water partition coefficient and distribution-coefficient of PFASs were found to be strongly positively correlated with their removal by some sorbents. Organic sorbents with good performance in removal of MPs and a conventional sand bed showed limited ability to remove P, while calcium-rich sorbents increased P removal greatly. Two sorbents, granulated activated carbon (GAC) and xyloid lignite (Xylit), were tested for 24 weeks in an add-on filter for effluent from a soil treatment system and found to significantly improve removal of MPs. A replaceable add-on unit for removal of MPs from OSSF effluent is recommended and should contain an organic sorbent such as GAC or Xylit.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2018. p. 54
Series
TRITA-ABE-DLT ; 1821
Keywords
Micropollutant, on-site sewage facilities, physicochemical properties, pore structure, sorbents, surface functional group
National Category
Water Engineering
Research subject
Land and Water Resources Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-234314 (URN)978-91-7729-936-3 (ISBN)
Public defence
2018-09-28, D3, Lindstedtsvägen 5, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Funder
Swedish Research Council Formas, 216-2012-2101
Note

QC 20180907

Available from: 2018-09-07 Created: 2018-09-06 Last updated: 2018-09-11Bibliographically approved

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