Tag Archives: water treatment

Assessment of Water Treatment for Radium Removal and NORM Formation, Estonia

Hill L, Suursoo S, Kiisk M, Jantsikene A, Nilb N, Munter R, Realo E, Koch R, Putk K, Leier M, Vaasma T, Isakar K. Long-term monitoring of water treatment technology designed for radium removal-removal efficiencies and NORM formation. J Radiol Prot. 2017 Dec 6;38(1):1-24. doi: 10.1088/1361-6498/aa97f2.

A drinking water treatment plant in Viimsi, Estonia, was monitored over three years for iron, manganese, radium-226, radium-228, as well as their daughter nuclides, in order to determine the efficiency of the treatment process, gain an insight into the removal mechanisms and interactions between radium, iron, and manganese, and assess the overall longevity and performance of the technology along with the possible build-up of NORM in the treatment process. During the study, samples were collected from raw water, first and second stage filtrate, consumer water, backwash water and filter materials. The results show consistent removal efficiency for iron and manganese, as well as an average of over 85% removal for radium with a slight decline over time. The backwash process has been optimised for maximum radium removal from the filters, while keeping concentrations in the backwash water below exemption levels. However, the accumulation of radium and thorium occurs in the filter material, exceeding exemption levels in the top layer of the filter columns in less than a year. By the end of the observation period, activity concentrations in the top layer of the columns were above 30 000 Bq kg-1 for Ra-226 and Ra-228, and around 15 000 Bq kg-1 for Th-228. Radionuclides are not homogenously distributed in the filter columns. In order to estimate the average activity concentrations in the filter media, the height distribution of radionuclides has to be accounted for. Two years and two months after commissioning the treatment plant, the average activity concentrations of Ra isotopes in the filter columns were in the range 10 000 Bq kg-1, while Th-228 activity concentration was roughly 3500 Bq kg-1.

Emerging adsorbents for fluoride removal

Yadav KK, Gupta N, Kumar V, Khan SA, Kumar A. A review of emerging adsorbents and current demand for defluoridation of water: Bright future in water sustainability. Environment international. 2017 Nov 27;111:80-108. doi: 10.1016/j.envint.2017.11.014.

Fluoride contamination of groundwater is a serious problem in several countries of the world because of the intake of excessive fluoride caused by the drinking of the contaminated groundwater. Geological and anthropogenic factors are responsible for the contamination of groundwater with fluoride. Excess amounts of fluoride in potable water may cause irreversible demineralisation of bone and tooth tissues, a condition called fluorosis, and long-term damage to the brain, liver, thyroid, and kidney. There has long been a need for fluoride removal from potable water to make it safe for human use. From among several defluoridation technologies, adsorption is the technology most commonly used due to its cost-effectiveness, ease of operation, and simple physical process. In this paper, the adsorption capacities and fluoride removal efficiencies of different types of adsorbents are compiled from relevant published data available in the literature and represented graphically. The most promising adsorbents tested so far from each category of adsorbents are also highlighted. There is still a need to discover the actual feasibility of usage of adsorbents in the field on a commercial scale and to define the reusability of adsorbents to reduce cost and the waste produced from the adsorption process. The present paper reviews the currently available methods and emerging approaches for defluoridation of water.

Coagulation of Natural Organic Matter, A Review

Sillanpää M, Ncibi MC, Matilainen A, Vepsäläinen M. Removal of natural organic matter in drinking water treatment by coagulation: A comprehensive review. Chemosphere. 2017 Sep 25;190:54-71. doi: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2017.09.113.

Natural organic matter (NOM) is a complex matrix of organic substances produced in (or channeled to) aquatic ecosystems via various biological, geological and hydrological cycles. Such variability is posing a serious challenge to most water treatment technologies, especially the ones designed to treat drinking water supplies. Lately, in addition to the fluctuating composition of NOM, a substantial increase of its concentration in fresh waters, and also municipal wastewater effluents, has been reported worldwide, which justifies the urgent need to develop highly efficient and versatile water treatment processes. Coagulation is among the most applied processes for water and wastewater treatment. The application of coagulation to remove NOM from drinking water supplies has received a great deal of attention from researchers around the world because it was efficient and helped avoiding the formation of disinfection by products (DBPs). Nonetheless, with the increased fluctuation of NOM in water (concentration and composition), the efficiency of conventional coagulation was substantially reduced, hence the need to develop enhanced coagulation processes by optimizing the operating conditions (mainly the amount coagulants and pH), developing more efficient inorganic or organic coagulants, as well as coupling coagulation with other water treatment technologies. In the present review, recent research studies dealing with the application of coagulation for NOM removal from drinking water supplies are presented and compared. In addition, integration schemes combining coagulation and other water treatment processes are presented, including membrane filtration, oxidation, adsorption and others processes.

Biofiltration for removal of disinfection byproduct precursors

Fu J, Lee WN, Coleman C, Nowack K, Carter J, Huang CH. Removal of disinfection byproduct (DBP) precursors in water by two-stage biofiltration treatment. Water research. 2017 Jun 27;123:224-235. doi: 10.1016/j.watres.2017.06.073.

The removal of precursors of 36 disinfection byproducts (DBPs) in effluents from flocculation/sedimentation process was evaluated across a pilot-scale two-stage biofiltration process, i.e., a sand/anthracite (SA) biofilter (empty bed contact time (EBCT) of 7.5 min) coupled with a biologically-active granular activated carbon (GAC) contactor (EBCT of 15 min). The biofiltration process exhibited a good capacity for removal of the total DBP formation potential (DBPFP) (by 25.90 ± 2.63%), and GAC contactors contributed most to the DBPFP removal (accounting for 60.63 ± 16.64% of the total removal). The removal percentage of DBPFPs of different structure types was in the following order: halonitroalkanes (58.50%) > haloaldehydes (33.62%) > haloacetic acids (HAAs, 28.13%) > haloalkanes (20.46%) > haloketones (13.46%) > nitrosamines (10.23%) > halonitriles (-8.82%) > haloalkenes (-9.84%). The precursors of bromo-DBPs (containing only bromine atoms) and maximal halogenated DBPs (containing 3 & 4 halo atoms) were removed largely compared to other DBPs. Among the total DBPFP, trihalomethanes (THMs), HAAs, and chloral hydrate were the dominant DBPs, and they accounted for >92% of the total targeted DBPs by weight. Pearson correlation analysis (CA) and principal components analysis (PCA) indicated a significant association among these dominant DBPs. Canonical correspondence analysis (CCA) revealed specific ultraviolet absorbance (SUVA254) could serve as a good surrogate parameter for DBPFP. Pre-chlorination upstream of the biofilters may not greatly impact the overall removal of DBPFP by SA/GAC biofiltration. In addition, results showed that SA/GAC biofiltration was a useful procedure to remove the inorganic DBP chlorite.

Removal of Perfluoroalkyl Substances (PFASs) from Water

Kothawala DN, Köhler SJ, Östlund A, Wiberg K, Ahrens L. Influence of dissolved organic matter concentration and composition on the removal efficiency of perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) during drinking water treatment. Water research. 2017 May 24;121:320-328. doi: 10.1016/j.watres.2017.05.047.

Drinking water treatment plants (DWTPs) are constantly adapting to a host of emerging threats including the removal of micro-pollutants like perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs), while concurrently considering how background levels of dissolved organic matter (DOM) influences their removal efficiency. Two adsorbents, namely anion exchange (AE) and granulated active carbon (GAC) have shown particular promise for PFAS removal, yet the influence of background levels of DOM remains poorly explored. Here we considered how the removal efficiency of 13 PFASs are influenced by two contrasting types of DOM at four concentrations, using both AE (Purolite A-600®) and GAC (Filtrasorb 400®). We placed emphasis on the pre-equilibrium conditions to gain better mechanistic insight into the dynamics between DOM, PFASs and adsorbents. We found AE to be very effective at removing both PFASs and DOM, while largely remaining resistant to even high levels of background DOM (8 mg carbon L-1) and surprisingly found that smaller PFASs were removed slightly more efficiently than longer chained counterparts, In contrast, PFAS removal efficiency with GAC was highly variable with PFAS chain length, often improving in the presence of DOM, but with variable response based on the type of DOM and PFAS chain length.

Biological Methods for Removing Nitrate from Drinking Water

Rezvani F, Sarrafzadeh MH, Ebrahimi S, Oh HM. Nitrate removal from drinking water with a focus on biological methods: a review. Environ Sci Pollut Res Int. 2017 May 31. doi: 10.1007/s11356-017-9185-0.

This article summarizes several developed and industrial technologies for nitrate removal from drinking water, including physicochemical and biological techniques, with a focus on autotrophic nitrate removal. Approaches are primarily classified into separation-based and elimination-based methods according to the fate of the nitrate in water treatment. Biological denitrification as a cost-effective and promising method of biological nitrate elimination is reviewed in terms of its removal process, applicability, efficiency, and associated disadvantages. The various pathways during biological nitrate removal, including assimilatory and dissimilatory nitrate reduction, are also explained. A comparative study was carried out to provide a better understanding of the advantages and disadvantages of autotrophic and heterotrophic denitrification. Sulfur-based and hydrogen-based denitrifications, which are the most common autotrophic processes of nitrate removal, are reviewed with the aim of presenting the salient features of hydrogenotrophic denitrification along with some drawbacks of the technology and research areas in which it could be used but currently is not. The application of algae-based water treatment is also introduced as a nature-inspired approach that may broaden future horizons of nitrate removal technology.

Removal of Quinolone Antibiotics from Water Using Activated Carbon

Fu H, Li X, Wang J, Lin P, Chen C, Zhang X, Suffet IHM. Activated carbon adsorption of quinolone antibiotics in water: Performance, mechanism, and modeling. Journal of environmental sciences (China). 2017 Jun;56:145-152. doi: 10.1016/j.jes.2016.09.010.

The extensive use of antibiotics has led to their presence in the aquatic environment, and introduces potential impacts on human and ecological health. The capability of powdered activated carbon (PAC) to remove six frequently used quinolone (QN) antibiotics during water treatment was evaluated to improve drinking water safety. The kinetics of QN adsorption by PAC was best described by a pseudo second-order equation, and the adsorption capacity was well described by the Freundlich isotherm equation. Isotherms measured at different pH showed that hydrophobic interaction, electrostatic interaction, and π-π dispersion force were the main mechanisms for adsorption of QNs by PAC. A pH-dependent isotherm model based on the Freundlich equation was developed to predict the adsorption capacity of QNs by PAC at different pH values. This model had excellent prediction capabilities under different laboratory scenarios. Small relative standard derivations (RSDs), i.e., 0.59%-0.92% for ciprofloxacin and 0.09%-3.89% for enrofloxacin, were observed for equilibrium concentrations above the 0.3 mg/L level. The RSDs increased to 11.9% for ciprofloxacin and 32.1% for enrofloxacin at μg/L equilibrium levels, which is still acceptable. This model could be applied to predict the adsorption of other chemicals having different ionized forms.