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An add-on filter technique to improve micropollutant removal and water quality in on-site sewage treatment facilities
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Sustainable development, Environmental science and Engineering, Water and Environmental Engineering.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-7459-3791
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 [en]
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: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-234314ISBN: 978-91-7729-936-3 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-234314DiVA, id: diva2:1246105
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
List of papers
1. Removal of micropollutants and nutrients in household wastewater using organic and inorganic sorbents
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Removal of micropollutants and nutrients in household wastewater using organic and inorganic sorbents
(English)In: Desalination and Water Treatment, ISSN 1944-3994, E-ISSN 1944-3986Article in journal, Editorial material (Refereed) In press
Abstract [en]

The efficiency of five organic and five inorganic sorbents in removing 19 organic micropollutants (MPs), phosphorus, nitrogen, and dissolved organic carbon (DOC) was tested in a two-week column experiment using household wastewater spiked with pharmaceuticals (n = 6), biocides/pesticides (n = 4), organophosphates (n = 3), a fragrance, a UV-stablizer, a food additive,a rubber additive, a plasticizer and a surfactant. Two types of granular activated carbon (GAC), two types of lignite, a pine bark product, and five mineral-based sorbents were tested. All the organic sorbents except pine bark achieved better removal efficiencies of DOC (on average, 70 ± 27%) and MPs (93 ± 11%) than the inorganic materials (DOC: 44 ± 7% and MPs: 66 ± 38%). However, the organic sorbents (i.e. GAC and xyloid lignite) removed less phosphorus (46 ± 18%), while sorbents with a high calcium or iron content (i.e. Polonite® and lignite) generally removed phosphorus more efficiently (93 ± 3%). Ammonium-nitrogen was well removed by sorbents with a pH between 7 and 9, with an average removal of 87%, whereas lignite (pH 4) showed the lowest removal efficiency (50%). Some MPs were well removed by all sorbents (≥97%) including biocides (hexachlorobenzene, triclosan and terbutryn), organophosphates (tributylphosphate, tris-(1,3-dichloro-2-propyl)phosphate and triphenylphosphate) and one fragrance (galaxolide). The pesticide 2,6-dichlorobenzamide and the pharmaceutical diclofenac were poorly removed by the pine bark and inorganic sorbents (on average, 4%), while organic sorbents achieved high removal of these chemicals (87%).

Keywords
Micropollutants (MPs); Synthetic substances; Sorbents; On-site sewage facilities (OSSFs)
National Category
Water Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-234660 (URN)10.5004/dwt.2018.22836 (DOI)000446574200010 ()2-s2.0-85054474332 (Scopus ID)
Funder
Swedish Research Council Formas, 216-2012-2101
Note

QC 20180907

Available from: 2018-09-07 Created: 2018-09-07 Last updated: 2018-10-23Bibliographically approved
2. Removal of 31 organic micropollutants and phosphorus by filter media in a column experiment using household wastewater
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Removal of 31 organic micropollutants and phosphorus by filter media in a column experiment using household wastewater
(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
micropollutants, phosphorus, sorbents, on-site sewage
National Category
Water Engineering
Research subject
Land and Water Resources Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-234664 (URN)
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
3. Removal of pharmaceuticals, perfluoroalkyl substances and other micropollutants from wastewater using lignite, Xylit, sand, granular activated carbon (GAC) and GAC+Polonite® in column tests – Role of physicochemical properties
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Removal of pharmaceuticals, perfluoroalkyl substances and other micropollutants from wastewater using lignite, Xylit, sand, granular activated carbon (GAC) and GAC+Polonite® in column tests – Role of physicochemical properties
Show others...
2018 (English)In: Water Research, ISSN 0043-1354, E-ISSN 1879-2448, Vol. 137, p. 97-106Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This study evaluated the performance of five different sorbents (granular activated carbon (GAC), GAC + Polonite® (GAC + P), Xylit, lignite and sand) for a set of 83 micropollutants (MPs) (pharmaceuticals, perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs), personal care products, artificial sweeteners, parabens, pesticide, stimulants), together representing a wide range of physicochemical properties. Treatment with GAC and GAC + P provided the highest removal efficiencies, with average values above 97%. Removal rates were generally lower for Xylit (on average 74%) and lignite (on average 68%), although they proved to be highly efficient for a few individual MPs. The average removal efficiency for sand was only 47%. It was observed that the MPs behaved differently depending on their physicochemical properties. The physicochemical properties of PFASs (i.e. molecular weight, topological molecular surface area, log octanol water partition coefficient (Kow) and distribution coefficient between octanol and water (log D)) were positively correlated to observed removal efficiency for the sorbents Xylit, lignite and sand (p < 0.05), indicating a strong influence of perfluorocarbon chain length and associated hydrophobic characteristics. In contrast, for the other MPs the ratio between apolar and polar surface area (SA/SP) was positively correlated with the removal efficiency, indicating that hydrophobic adsorption may be a key feature of their sorption mechanisms. GAC showed to be the most promising filter medium to improve the removal of MPs in on-site sewage treatment facilities. However, more studies are needed to evaluate the removal of MPs in field trials.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2018
National Category
Water Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-227541 (URN)10.1016/j.watres.2018.03.008 (DOI)000430520200011 ()29544207 (PubMedID)2-s2.0-85043450947 (Scopus ID)
Funder
Swedish Research Council Formas, 216-2012-2101
Note

QC 20180516

Available from: 2018-05-16 Created: 2018-05-16 Last updated: 2018-09-07Bibliographically approved
4. Wastewater purification and removal of micropollutants in a soiltreatment system and by subsequent filtration through activatedcarbon and xyloid lignite – a field experiment
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Wastewater purification and removal of micropollutants in a soiltreatment system and by subsequent filtration through activatedcarbon and xyloid lignite – a field experiment
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Soil treatment systems (STS) are often used in rural areas to remove nutrients and microorganisms from wastewater. These and other facilities designed for on-site sewage treatment should also have the capacity to remove micropollutants (MPs), i.e. pharmaceuticals, personal care products, detergents, polymer additives, and other synthetic organic compounds. In a six-month study on a medium-scale STS with two add-on filters installed to purify the effluent, possible removal enhancement of MPs, phosphorus (Ptot) and ammonium-nitrogen (NH4-N) was examined. The filters contained granular activated carbon (GAC) and xyloid lignite (Xylit). A total of 58 compounds were detected, comprising artificial sweeteners (n = 2), organophosphates (n = 7), parabens (n = 3), personal care products (n = 7), pesticides (n = 2), perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) (n = 3), pharmaceuticals (n = 27), a plasticiser, a polymer impurity, a rubber additive, stimulants (n = 3) and a surfactant. The concentrations in influent water to the STS ranged from 1.3 ng L-1 (ranitidine) to 110 μg L-1 (acetaminophen). Mean removal rate of MPs by the STS was 49 ± 56 %. The add-on filters significantly improved (ANOVA, p<0.001) removal of MPs, despite treating a high hydraulic load (2350 L m-2 day-1). The GAC and Xylit filters removed 98 ± 6 % and 87 ± 28 %, respectively, demonstrating the potential of these materials to reduce MPs in STS effluent to very low concentrations. The add-on filters did not improve removal of P and NH4-N from STS effluent, but the GAC-based filter improved removal of organics (COD) by 5%. 

Keywords
add-on filter, on-site sewage facilitiy, trace organic chemicals, granular activated carbon, Xylit
National Category
Water Engineering
Research subject
Land and Water Resources Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-234666 (URN)
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

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Citation style
  • apa
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Output format
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