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Treatment Of Yellow Water By Membrane Separations And Advanced Oxidation Methods

Z. Lazarova, R. Spendlingwimmer

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Comparative experimental study is performed on purification of yellow wastewaters separated and collected in solarCity, Linz, Austria. Three membrane methods (micro-, ultra-, and nano-filtration), and two advanced oxidations (gamma radiation and electrochemical oxidation) were applied. Best results concerning the removal of pharmaceuticals and hormones from urine by membrane separation were achieved using the membrane NF-200 (FilmTecTM). Pharmaceuticals (ibuprofen and diclofenac), and hormones (oestrone, β-oestradiol, ethenyloestradiol, oestriol) were removed completely from urine. NF-separation also has some disadvantages: losses of urea, and lowering the conductivity in the product (permeate). The retentates (concentrates) received have to be treated further by oxidation to destroy the “problem” compounds. The results showed that electrochemical oxidation is more suitable than gamma radiation. Gamma-radiation with intensities higher than 10 kGy has to be applied for efficiently destroying of ibuprofen, and especially diclofenac. A high quantity of intermediate “problem” substances with oestrone structure was formed during the gamma oxidation of hormone containing urine samples. The electrochemical oxidation can be successfully applied for elimination of pharmaceuticals such as diclofenac, and hormones (oestrone, β-oestradiol) from yellow wastewater without loss of urea (nitrogen fertiliser).