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Oxidative Treatment of Organics in Membrane Concentrates

Principal Investigator and Project Manager
Paul Westerhoff, Ph.D., PE, Arizona State University (Tempe Campus)

The use of membrane processes for wastewater treatment and reuse is rapidly expanding, especially the use of reverse osmosis (RO) membranes. RO membrane processes effectively remove organic, inorganic, and biological constituents, which accumulate in membrane concentrates.  Therefore, membrane concentrates represent a significant concentrated point-source flow from the urban system into the environment.  Considerable attention has focused on the impact of salts in membrane concentrates, but significantly less attention has been paid to the organic and biological constituents. 

The organic materials in membrane concentrates include organic matter in the carrier drinking water, refractory chemicals added by the public to wastewater (for example, pesticides, personal care products, pharmaceutical products, endocrine disruptors, etc.), and residuals from wastewater treatment processes (for example, soluble microbial products, partially biodegraded organics, and antiscaling chemicals).  Removing these organics may become important in the future as the utilization of membranes for wastewater reuse grows.

The goal of this project was to develop an oxidation process for removing organics in membrane concentrates.  While previous projects have focused on issues associated with inorganic salts, utilities have few resources to treat organics or microbiological organisms present in membrane concentrates.
(2010, 75 pages, 05-010-1)

Member price: 25.00
Foundation subscriber price: 15.00
Non-member price: 45.00