Simultaneous removal of perchlorate and nitrate from drinking water using the ion exchange membrane bioreactor concept

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Abstract

This work evaluates the feasibility of the ion exchange membrane bioreactor (IEMB) concept for the simultaneous removal of perchlorate and nitrate from drinking water, when nitrate is present in the ppm range and perchlorate in the ppb range. The IEMB concept combines Donnan dialysis and simultaneous biological degradation of both pollutants. Membrane transport studies showed that Donnan dialysis is suitable for obtaining water with concentrations of perchlorate and nitrate below the recommended levels. However, the pollutants were accumulated in a receiving stream, thus requiring additional treatment before disposal. On the other hand, the IEMB process operated with hydraulic retention times ranging from 1.4 to 8.3 h in the water compartment, proved to remove effectively perchlorate and nitrate while preserving the water composition with respect to other ions, thus avoiding secondary contamination of the treated water. For a polluted water stream containing 100 ppb of ClO4 - and 60 ppm of NO3 -, the concentrations of both ions in the treated stream were kept below the recommended levels of 4 ppb for ClO 4 - and 25 ppm for NO3 -. The IEMB system was operated under ethanol limitation, but even under these conditions, an increase of the perchlorate and nitrate concentrations in the treated water was not observed for up to 6 days.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)231-240
Number of pages10
JournalWater Research
Volume40
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2006

Keywords

  • Donnan dialysis
  • Drinking water
  • Ion exchange
  • Membrane bioreactor
  • Nitrate
  • Perchlorate

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