Separation Science and Technology, Vol.42, No.7, 1477-1492, 2007
Ozonation of textile effluents and dye solutions in the presence of activated carbon under continuous operation
Ozonation was found to be effective for the decolorization of solutions, but has only a slight effect on TOC removal. On the other hand, adsorption on activated carbon improves the TOC removal, but the progressive uptake of the organic contaminants during the adsorption process decreases its removal efficiency. Decolorization, mineralization, and ozone consumption of colored solutions were evaluated under continuous operation in a column by three different processes: ozonation, adsorption on a fixed activated carbon bed, and ozonation in the presence of the activated carbon bed. The introduction of an ozone flow in a fixed activated carbon bed enhances both the decolorization of the solutions and mainly the mineralization of the organic matter, even when the activated carbon was previously partially saturated. Activated carbon acts both as an adsorbent and as a catalyst in the ozonation of colored solutions. The column configuration plays an important role in the performance of this system. The configurations in series and with activated carbon in the upper part of the column showed the highest colour and TOC removal for dye solutions. The results obtained clearly show that the combination of ozone and activated carbon is a promising technique for the final treatment of colored effluents. Practical applicability of this process was validated by treating two industrial textile effluents, collected after two different biological treatments.