Conventional wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) do not fully remove micropollutants. Enhanced treatment of sewage effluents is being considered or implemented in some countries to minimize the discharge of problematic micropollutants from WWTPs. Representative enhanced sewage treatment technologies for micropollutant removal were reviewed, including their current status of research and development. Advanced oxidation processes (AOPs) such as ozonation and UV/H2O2 and adsorption processes using powdered (PAC) and granular activated carbon (GAC) were mainly discussed with focusing on process principles for the micropollutant removal, effect of process operation and water matrix factors, and technical and economic feasibility. Pilot- and full-scale studies have shown that ozonation, PAC, and GAC can achieve significant elimination of various micropollutants at economically feasible costs(0.16-0.29 €/m3). Considering the current status of domestic WWTPs, ozonation and PAC were found to be the most feasible options for the enhanced sewage effluent treatment. Although ozonation and PAC are all mature technologies, a range of technical aspects should be considered for their successful application, such as energy consumption, CO2 emission, byproduct or waste generation, and ease of system construction/operation/maintenance. More feasibility studies considering domestic wastewater characteristics and WWTP conditions are required to apply ozonation or PAC/GAC adsorption process to enhance sewage effluent treatment in Korea.
The present study was performed to investigate the effects of NH3-N and nitrifying microorganisms on the increased BOD of downstream of the Yeongsan river in Gwangju. Water samples were collected periodically from the 13 sampling sites of rivers from April to October 2021 to monitor water qualities. In addition, the trends of nitrogenous biochemical oxygen demand (NBOD) and microbial clusters were analyzed by adding different NH3-N concentrations to the water samples. The monitoring results showed that NH3-N concentration in the Yeongsan river was 22 times increased after the inflow of discharged water from the Gwangju 1st public sewage treatment plant (G-1-PSTP). Increased NH3-N elevated NBOD levels through the nitrification process in the river, consequently, it would attribute to the increase of BOD in the Yeongsan river. Meanwhile, there was no proportional relation between NBOD and NH3-N concentrations. However, there was a significant difference in NBOD occurrence by sampling sites. Specifically, when 5 mg/L NH3-N was added, NBOD of the river sample showed 2-4 times higher values after the inflow of discharged water from G-1-PSTP. Therefore, it could be thought other factors such as microorganisms influence the elevated NBOD levels. Through next-generation sequencing analysis, nitrifying microorganisms such as Nitrosomonas, Nitroga, and Nitrospira (Genus) were detected in rivers samples, especially, the proportion of them was the highest in river samples after the inflow of discharged water from G-1-PSTP. These results indicated the effects of nitrifying microorganisms and NH3-N concentrations as important limiting factors on the increased NBOD levels in the rivers. Taken together, comprehensive strategies are needed not only to reduce the NH3-N concentration of discharged water but also to control discharged nitrifying microorganisms to effectively reduce the NBOD levels in the downstream of the Yeongsan river where discharged water from G-1-PSTP flows.
Recently microplastic (MP) biofilm is being attracted as an important environmental issue because it can act as a pollutant carrier in aqueous system. Therefore, this study investigated the MP biofilm communities originated from freshwater. The results showed the bacterial community structure of MP biofilm was distinctively different from the freshwater regardless of biofilm-forming condition and MP type. For MP biofilm communities exposed to raw freshwater, Solimonas variicoloris-like microbe, Frigidibacter albus-like microbe, Nitrospirillum amazonense-like microbe, and Pseudochroococcus couteii-like microbe became abundant, while Acinetobacter johnsonii, Macellibacteroides fermentans, and Sedimentibacter acidaminivorans-like microbe were found as major bacteria for MP biofilm communities exposed to organic rich condition. The results of this study suggest that the unique freshwater biofilm community could be formed on the MP surface.
The frequent detection and occurrence of micropollutants (MPs) in aquatic ecosystems has raised public health concerns worldwide. In this study, the behavior of 50 MPs was investigated in three different domestic wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs). Furthermore, the Kruskal-Wallis test was used to assess the geographical and seasonal variation of MPs in the WWTPs. The results showed that the concentrations of 43 MPs ranged from less than 0.1 to 237.6 μg L-1, while other seven MPs including 17-ethynylestradiol, 17-estradiol, sulfathiazole, sulfamethazine, clofibric acid, simvastatin, and lovastatin were not detected in all WWTPs. Among the detected MPs, the pharmaceuticals such as metformin, acetaminophen, naproxen, and caffeine were prominent with maximum concentrations of 133.4, 237.6, 71.5, and 107.7 μg L-1, respectively. Most perfluorinated compounds and nitrosamines were found at trace levels of 1.2 to 55.3 ng L-1, while the concentration of corrosion inhibitors, preservatives (parabens), and endocrine disruptors ranged from less than 0.1 to 4310.8 ng L-1. Regardless of the type of biological treatment process such as MLE, A2O, and MBR, the majority of pharmaceuticals (except lincomycin, diclofenac, iopromide, and carbamazepine), parabens (except Methyl paraben), and endocrine disruptors were removed by more than 80%. However, the removal efficiencies of certain MPs such as atrazine, DEET, perfluorinated compounds (except PFHxA), nitrosamines, and corrosion inhibitors were relatively low or their concentration even increased after treatment. The results of statistical analysis reveal that there is no significant geographical difference in the removal efficacy of MPs, but there are temporal seasonal variations in all WWTPs.
In this study, the removal efficiency of PFCs(perfluorinated compounds) in the GAC(granule activated carbon) process based on the superheated steam automatic regeneration system was investigated in laboratory scale and pilot-scale reactor. Among PFCs, PFHxS(perfluorohexyl sulfonate) was most effectively removed. The removal efficiency of PFCs was found to be closely related to the EBCT, and the removal efficiencies of PFOA(perfluorooctanoic acid), PFOS(perfluorooctyl sulfonate), and PFHxS were 43.7, 75, and 100%, respectively, under the condition of EBCT of 6 min. Afterward, PFOA, PFOS, and PFHxS exhibited the earlier breakthrough time in the order. After that, GAC was regenerated, and the removal efficiency of the PFCs before and after regeneration was compared. As a result, it was shown that the PFCs removal efficiency in the regenerated GAC process were higher, and that of PFOA was improved to 75%. The findings of this study indicate the feasibility of the superheated steam automatic regeneration system for the stable removal of the PFCs, and it was verified that this technology can be applied stably enough even in field conditions.