Water Treatment

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water_18912345 As water resources become increasingly stressed, waters of increasingly poor initial quality are incrementally added to the nation’s water resources portfolios. In particular, addition of water contaminated with trace organic contaminants (TOrCs) such as endocrine disrupters, pharmaceuticals, flame retardants and disinfection by products is a serious concern. The most commonly used methods for removal of organic contaminants from wastewater include advanced oxidation processes (AOPs) such as ozonation and hydrogen peroxide photolysis. Recently, there has been a growing interest in sonolysis (acoustic cavitation induced degradation of organics) as an effective alternative to existing advanced oxidation processes in terms of energy consumption as well as the ability to degrade trace organic and recalcitrant contaminants. Acoustic cavitation of aqueous solutions involves formation, growth and implosive collapse of microbubbles. During the collapse, very high temperatures (reaching thousands of Kelvin) are attained inside the bubbles. This causes decomposition of water and generation of hydroxyl radicals, which are among the most powerful oxidants known. Additionally, high temperatures of this order can also result in partial or complete pyrolysis of some of the organic pollutants. This team is exploring the possibility of trace organic destruction by sonolysis. It is anticipated that sonolytic degradation technology can provide a low cost, non-selective and energy-efficient process for the complete degradation of the entire range of trace organic compounds present in the wastewater effluent.


Team Exploration Participants:

P. Deymier (MSE)

M. Keswani (MSE)

S. Raghavan (MSE)

E. Saez (ChEE)

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