Use of Radiation for Removal of Organic Pollutants from Water and Wastewater


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  • F H Mughal
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Use of Radiation for Removal of Organic Pollutants from Water and Wastewater

Use of Radiation for Removal of Organic Pollutants from Water and Wastewater

A recent paper byTrojanowicz, M. et al (2017) proposes radiation for removal of organic pollutants from water and wastewater.
The paper makes a compelling case. It says:

Water is increasingly contaminated with organic pollutants. Some of these are contaminants of emerging concern (CECs), including pharmaceuticals and personal care products that act as endocrine disruptors and pose a danger to environmental and public health. Developing new and improved methods for the identification and removal of these pollutants from effluents and drinking waters is, therefore, a pressing societal concern. At present, no treatment technologies capable of simultaneously and completely removing all CECs from water are in use. Current methods only remove certain contaminants, to a greater or lesser extent.

At present, the most common treatment methods for the removal of organic pollutants are Advanced Oxidation Processes (AOPs) such as oxidation, chlorination, ultraviolet irradiation, ultrasonic irradiation, and photocatalysis. These generate highly reactive oxidative radicals in the water being treated, which cause organic pollutants to degrade. However, AOPs have their limitations. They often require extended contact times with the water if contaminants are to be fully destroyed, and can generate by-products with as-yet unknown environmental or health effects. Moreover, full destruction of CECs is heavily dependent on environmental and process conditions, and often requires costly additives, which can generate additional residues with their own environmental, public health and occupational safety concerns.

Radiolytic processes offer a promising alternative. Radiolysis uses radiation to decompose pollutants along oxidative and reducing pathways simultaneously — making it faster and more efficient than conventional AOPs. Radiation processing may be faster, cleaner and more efficient at removing pollutants from drinking and waste water than conventional techniques.

This is interesting research. I’m sure the research work will be of interest to those involved in water and wastewater treatment.

Source: Trojanowicz, M., Bojanowska-Czajka, A. & Capodaglio, A. G. (2017). Can radiation chemistry supply a highly efficient AO(R)P process for organics removal from drinking and waste water? A review. Environmental Science and Pollution Research, 24: 20187-20208 DOI 10.1007/s11356-017-9836-1

F H Mughal
F H Mughal (Mr.)
Karachi, Pakistan

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