DOI: 10.3390/toxics12020138 ISSN: 2305-6304

Sequential Treatment by Ozonation and Biodegradation of Pulp and Paper Industry Wastewater to Eliminate Organic Contaminants

Jessica Amacosta, Tatyana Poznyak, Sergio Siles, Isaac Chairez
  • Chemical Health and Safety
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis
  • Toxicology

In this research, the decomposition of toxic organics from pulp and paper mill effluent by the sequential application of ozonation and biodegradation was studied. Ozonation, as a pre-treatment, was executed to transform the initial pollutants into less toxic compounds (such as organic acids of low molecular weights). Biodegradation was executed during three days with acclimated microorganisms that were able to complete the decomposition of the initial organic mixture (raw wastewater) and to achieve a higher degree of mineralization (85–90%). Experiments were performed under three different conditions: (a) only ozonation of the initial contaminants, (b) only biodegradation of residual water without previous treatment by ozone and (c) ozonation followed by biodegradation performed by acclimated microorganisms. In the case of 72 h of biodegradation, the mineralization efficiency reached 85% and 89% after 30 and 60 min of ozonation, respectively. The no significant difference in this parameter coincided with the calculated generalized microorganisms’ consortia specific growing rate μmax that was reduced from 2.08 × 10−3 h−1 to 6.05 × 10−4 h−1 when the ozonation time was longer. The identification of the organics composition by gas chromatography with mass detector (GC-MS) before and after treatments confirmed that the proposed combined process served as a more efficient alternative to secondary and tertiary treatments (mineralization degree between 60 and 80% in average) of the paper industry wastewater.

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