Ozone removes micropolluants from wastewater

Wastewater treatment for micropollutants is becoming more popular and important worldwide. As the concerns of pharmaceuticals in water comes to the forefront the desire for cleaner, safer water is understood. This leads to the implementation of systems to remove micropollutants from wastewater during the treatment process. Ozone is one technology that has proven effective to remove micropollutants and pharmaceuticals from wastewater. Article below gives some great information on another new plant upgrading to ozone use.

Learn more about ozone use for wastewater and micorpollutnats HERE

Full news article HERE

Swiss wastewater plant chooses Xylem’s ozone tech to remove micropollutants

SCHAFFHAUSEN, Switzerland – Xylem (NYSE: XYL) has been awarded a contract to provide advanced treatment technology to the Werdhölzli wastewater treatment plant in Zurich, the largest wastewater treatment facility in Switzerland.

The European Union (EU) has published a list of prioritised substances that pose a threat to ground and surface water sources. To adhere to the environmental standards set by the EU, the member countries have to regularly monitor the occurrence of the listed substances.

In Switzerland, a 20-year process to upgrade major wastewater treatment plants is underway to tackle such pollutants, which currently remain in treated wastewater and are released into surrounding lakes and rivers.

As part of this agenda, new legislation came into effect on 1 January 2016 requiring wastewater treatment plants to implement an additional treatment process, specifically for the removal of micropollutants.

Xylem said its ozone technology will enable the plant to meet new Swiss regulations regarding the protection of water bodies and specifically, the removal of micropollutants.

Eight Wedeco SMOevo ozone systems will be supplied to the Werdhoelzli wastewater treatment plant as part of a 50 million CHF (51.17 million USD) upgrade project.

Once operational, the plant will be able to produce 153 kilograms of ozone per hour (kgO3/h)  to treat a  flow of 6,500 litres per second (l/s), making it the largest ozone plant for the removal of micropollutants in the world.

Growing concern about micropollutants – contaminants that are released from everyday products such as industrial chemicals, pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs), pesticides, and hormones, and cannot be removed with conventional wastewater treatment technologies – is leading many countries to consider more rigorous treatment solutions.

Peter Wiederkehr, chief operating officer (COO) Entsorgung + Recycling Zürich, said: “Wastewater treatment plants serving a population of 5,000 or more must be equipped now with a new treatment stage which ensures that up to 80% of pre-selected micropollutants are removed. Extensive research has confirmed ozone as a preferred technology for this stage. Xylem’s Wedeco SMOevo ozone systems will enable us to meet the new treatment regulations with a reliable, environmentally-friendly and cost-effective solution.”

Florian Milz, key account manager with Xylem added, “The elimination of micropollutants from wastewater is a challenge which more and more facilities must address. While conventional treatment processes do not remove them completely, oxidation with ozone is proving to be one of the most efficient methods for reducing these contaminants. Pollutants, colored substances, odors and microorganisms are directly destroyed by oxidation, without creating harmful chlorinated by-products or significant residues.”

Construction on the Werdhölzli wastewater treatment plant upgrade began in 2016 and the plant is expected to be operational by 2018.

Degradation of Toxic Substances in wastewater using ozone

Ozone can oxidize any substance that is not in it’s complete oxidized state.  Therefore most toxic substances found in water can be oxidized by ozone for safe and cost effective removal without dangerous chemical by-products.

Ozone use for Wastewater Treatment has many uses and a wide variety of applications. Common ozone wastewater treatment applications:

  • Wastewater disinfection
  • Color removal from water
  • Sludge reduction
  • Odor removal from wastewater
  • Degradation of toxic substances

Common toxic substances oxidized by ozone in water:

  • Phenol
  • Benzene
  • Cyanide
  • Naphthalene
  • Olefins
  • Pesticides
  • Herbicides
  • Ammonia
  • Pentachlorophenol
  • Ethane
  • Atrazine
  • MTBE
  • Toluene

This is just a short list of common contaminated ozone is used to oxidize from water.  We can provide specific information and references for each of these, along with other information as required.  Please contact our office for more details.

Micropollutants, or Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals (EDC’s) removal with ozone is gaining the most attention of all ozone and wastewater treatment applications. Ozone has proven to be the most effective oxidant at removing Micropollutant and EDC’s from watewater either alone or used in conjunction with AOP processes.

The Lingo:

  • Micropollutants: substances that are found in relatively low concentrations that are difficult or impossible to remove with conventional treatment technologies.
  • Endocrine Disrupting Compounds (EDC’s): substances which impact the hormone functions of animals and humans
    • Naturally or industrially produced
    • disrupt growth, development or reproduction
    • influence the behavior of humans and animals
  • Endocrine System: consists of glands and hormones that regulates the development, growth, reproduction and the behavior of animals as well as humans.
  • Personal Care Products: fragrances, sunscreens, cleaning products, etc
  • EDC’s, pharmaceuticals and personal care products are groups of emerging contaminants

Build-up of EDC’s in wastewater is of primary concern for plants that discharge into lakes, or rivers where water may move slow and allow levels to compound over time. In some locations this same body of water is used as a supply for drinking water plants. The Great Lakes region in the United States is a great example of a body of water that is used for wastewater discharge and drinking water supply that could have a build-up of EDC’s in the water over time.

Ozone has been tested and proven effective in removing many EDC’s in wastwater treatment systems. The following is a short list of EDC’s ozone has been proven effective for:

  • Testosterone
  • Androstenedione
  • Progesterone
  • Estradiol
  • Estriol
  • Estrone
  • Ethynylestradiol
  • Carbamazepine
  • Bezafibrate
  • Diclofenac
  • Ibuprofen
  • Sulfamethoxazole

For a complete list, details on each EDC, or information about how ozone could be implemented as a pilot test, or full scale system contact our application engineers today.