Assessing the Economic Feasibility of Using Commercially Available Technology to Remove Priority UV Absorbers From Wastewater

EPA Grant Number: GF9501638
Title: Assessing the Economic Feasibility of Using Commercially Available Technology to Remove Priority UV Absorbers From Wastewater
Investigators: Loge, Frank
Institution: University of California - Davis
EPA Project Officer: Packard, Benjamin H
Project Period: September 1, 1995 through January 1, 2000
Project Amount: $26,422
RFA: STAR Graduate Fellowships (1995) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Academic Fellowships , Engineering and Environmental Chemistry , Fellowship - Engineering


The three specific objectives of this research are to: 1) use existing spectral and wastewater influent data to identify and rank compounds most likely to be of significant concern in absorption of UV light in wastewater; 2) Experimentally confirm the effect of the priority UV absorbers on UV transmission and demonstrate an experimental protocol for identifying key absorbers in an industrial discharge to a collection system; 3) Assess the economic feasibility of using commercially available technology to remove priority UV absorbers from discharges prior to delivery into a central collection system. To meet the objectives of the proposed research, the project will be conducted in three phases. Phase one will use existing data to identify priority absorbers. The USEPA has already conducted an extensive assessment of what compounds are in wastewater categorized by identity, rough concentration, and location. The next step is to characterize the potential UV absorption characteristics of compounds identified above by using the Sadtler Standard Ultraviolet Spectra. For a compound to be considered a "priority Absorber" in affecting UV transmission of light in wastewater, both its concentration and UV absorption characteristics must be considered. By integrating the relative concentration of compounds found entering 50 large POTWs with the relative UV absorption significance of each compound it is possible to theoretically identify the priority absorbers. Phase two is experimental testing and demonstration. Directed experimental work will be conducted to both test the impact of the priority absorbers identified in phase one and to develop and demonstrate a protocol that a utility might use n a case-by-case basis to identify specific priority absorbers in its influent. To verify the impact of the identified priority absorbers in limiting UV transmittance in municipal wastewater, simple experiments will be utilized. Typical municipal wastewater will be spiked with known concentrations of the compounds and the resulting change in UV transmission will be monitored with a UV spectrophotometer. By assessing the decrease in transmission at various concentrations the impact of dilution will be quantified for each compound. The concentration range utilized will center on those found in the 50 POTW study and will be varied high and low by at least 2 orders of magnitude. Phase three concerns technical and economic feasibility of removing priority absorbers. A technical and economic assessment of the feasibility of targeted pretreatment of priority absorbers will be conducted. Using the data developed in phase one and two, an assessment will be made to determine the most common priority absorbers likely to occur both on an industry basis and a geographical basis in the U.S. Data available from the 50 POTW study will serve as the basis for this quantitative analysis. The costs of using commercially available technology to pretreat various flow quantities of these absorbers will then be determined using the wealth of available cost data. The costs of selective pretreatment of relatively small amounts of industry discharges will then be compared with the costs of the need to overdesign UV disinfection facilities to compensate for poor transmittance. This comparison will be quantitative to the extent practical given that prediction modeling of UV performance is not well developed at present.

Supplemental Keywords:

Scientific Discipline, Water, Chemical Engineering, Wastewater, Environmental Chemistry, Civil/Environmental Engineering, Civil Engineering, Chemistry and Materials Science, Engineering, Engineering, Chemistry, & Physics, Environmental Engineering, wastewater treatment, commercially available technology, removal of UV absorbers, economically feasible technology

Progress and Final Reports:

  • 1996
  • 1997
  • 1998
  • 1999
  • Final