Recent Papers on Industrial Effluents

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Identification of inhibitory effects of industrial effluents on nitrification

Water Science & Technology—WST Vol 59 No 4 pp 797–803 © IWA Publishing 2009 doi:10.2166/wst.2009.060

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A. Žgajnar Gotvajn and J. Zagorc-Končan

University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Chemistry and Chemical Technology, Aškerceva 5, SI-1000, Ljubljana, Slovenia E-mail:


The aim of our work was to determine the extent of inhibition of oxygen consumption by activated sludge for carbonaceous and ammonium oxidation (ISO 8192 2007) for various wastewaters. We have selected several types of wastewaters different in their origin and composition: pharmaceutical wastewater, tannery wastewater and municipal landfill leachate. To confirm results of toxicity testing, additional ready biodegradability assessment test with measurement of oxygen consumption was accomplished to indicate the impact of effluents to nitrification process. Pharmaceutical wastewater was toxic to activated sludge, but it inhibited heterotrophic microorganisms much more than nitrifying ones. Biodegradability testing confirmed low impact to nitrification by high, non-suppressed oxygen consumption for nitrification process. Tannery effluent inhibited nitrification significantly (180 min EC50 was 57 vol.%), but it did not affect heterotrophic microorganisms. Landfill leachate was very toxic to heterotrophic microorganisms (180 min EC50 was 3 vol.%), while it inhibited nitrification less (180 min EC50 was 24 vol.%). Presented research confirmed that the investigated experimental method is a reliable one for detection of occurrence of substances inhibiting nitrification in different industrial effluents. With regular monitoring of inhibitory impact biological treatment process upsets could be avoided and treatment optimised.

Treatment of olive-mill wastewater from a two-phase process by chemical oxidation on an industrial scale

Water Science & Technology—WST Vol 59 No 10 pp 2017–2027 © IWA Publishing 2009 doi:10.2166/wst.2009.165

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L. M. Nieto, G. Hodaifa, S. R. Vives, J. A. G. Casares, S. B. Driss and R. Grueso

Chemical Engineering Department, Granada University, 18071 Granada, Spain
 Chemical Engineering Department, Complutense University of Madrid, 28040 Madrid, Spain E-mail:


This study offers a solution for reducing the environmental effect of wastewaters generated by the olive-oil industry. Olive-oil companies produce variable quantities of wastewaters, which require treatment for disposal or reuse. Today, regulations are becoming increasingly strict regarding the parameters measured in these effluents. In Spain, the resolution by the president of the Hydrographical Confederation of the Guadalquivir on water use 2004 set parameter limits as follows: pH = 6.0–9.0, total suspended solid = 500 mg/L; and COD and BOD520=1,500 mg O2/L. For the year 2006, maximum values for COD and BOD520 were fixed at 1,000 mg O2/L. To solve this problem, a study has been made to derive irrigation water from the above-mentioned effluents through chemical oxidation based on the Fenton's process. This would be first step towards using a closed-circuit system in olive-oil mills to treat and reuse effluents.

Selection of variables using factorial discriminant analysis for the state identification of an anaerobic UASB–UAF hybrid pilot plant, fed with winery effluents

Water Science & Technology Vol 56 No 2 pp 139–145 © IWA Publishing 2007 doi:10.2166/wst.2007.482

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M. Castellano*, G. Ruiz-Filippi** , W. González*, E. Roca***  and J.M. Lema*** 

*Department of Statistics and O.R., University of Santiago de Compostela, Spain (E-mail:
 ** School of Biochemical Engineering, Pontifica Universidad Católica de Valparaíso, Chile
 *** Department of Chemical Engineering, School of Engineering. University of Santiago de Compostela, Spain


Anaerobic wastewater treatment has become a widely used method for wastewater depuration, and has been applied in a wide range of situations, from urban wastewater to highly toxic industrial wastewater. Particularly it has been successfully applied to the treatment of the beverage industries effluents. To avoid the destabilization of the system a monitoring diagnosis and control system of the depuration processes is necessary. The cost of this system is an important issue, that depends on the number of parameters that must be controlled for an adequate performance of a wastewater plant control system. This work shows how the classic statistical classification techniques can be applied to determine the number variables that must be monitored to achieve an adequate performance of anaerobic UASB–UAF hybrid Pilot Plant monitoring and control system. The obtained results had not been unique, so different combinations of variables can be selected for a good wastewater treatment process control. Economic or technical criteria may be considered to determine the final variables set in each particular situation.

Treatability of cefazolin antibiotic formulation effluent with O3 and O3/H2O2 processes

Water Science & Technology Vol 55 No 10 pp 217–225 © IWA Publishing 2007 doi:10.2166/wst.2007.325

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G. Iskender*, A. Sezer*, I. Arslan-Alaton*, F. Germirli Babuna* and O.S. Okay**

*Istanbul Technical University, Civil Engineering Faculty, Environmental Engineering Department, 34469, Maslak, Istanbul, Turkey (E-mail:;;;
 **Istanbul Technical University, Faculty of Naval Architecture and Ocean Engineering, 34469, Maslak, Istanbul, Turkey


The effect of applying ozonation and perozonation to antibiotic cefazolin-Na formulation effluents were investigated in this study. Twenty minutes of ozonation at a rate of 1,500 mg/L-h was observed to remove COD by 38%, whereas a COD removal efficiency of 40% was achieved via H2O2 enhanced ozonation (same conditions + 31.25 mM H2O2). Both of the pretreatment alternatives were monitored to elevate the BOD5/COD ratio from 0.01 to 0.08. The initially inert COD was reduced by 38% using ozonation and by 60% employing H2O2 enhanced ozonation. In terms of the lowest achievable effluent COD levels after bio-treatment, ozonation was observed to yield a residual COD of 205 mg L-1, while a residual COD of 135 mg L-1 was involved for perozonation. According to the results of acute toxicity on Phaedactylum tricornutum, ozonated and perozonated samples exhibited more toxicity than the untreated effluent after 4 days. The activated sludge inhibition test demonstrated that both of the pretreatment alternatives efficiently eliminated the inhibition of investigated formulation effluent.

Iron and manganese removal from textile effluents in anaerobic attached-growth bioreactor filled with coirfibres

Water Science & Technology Vol 55 No 8-9 pp 143–150 © IWA Publishing 2007 doi:10.2166/wst.2007.252

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M.W. Jayaweera*, P.I.A. Gomes* and S.L.J. Wijeyekoon**

*Department of Civil Engineering, University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka (E-mail:;
 **Department of Chemical and Process Engineering, University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka (E-mail:


A laboratory scale study on Fe and Mn removal in upflow anaerobic bioreactor of a working volume of 20 L with coir fibre as the filter medium was investigated for a period of 312 days. The maximum Fe and Mn levels considered were 10 and 5 mg/L respectively, which are the typical average values of textile effluents subsequent to the primary and secondary treatments. Ten sub-experimental runs were conducted with varying HRTs (5 days to 1 day), ratios of COD:SO2-4 (20 to 3.5), Fe levels (0.005 to 10 mg/L) and Mn levels (0 to 5 mg/L). COD:SO2-4 of 3.5 was identified as the optimum point at which sulphate reducing bacteria (SRBs) out competed methane producing bacteria (MPBs) and further reduction of this ratio caused total and/or significant inhibition of MPBs, thus building sulphate reducing conditions. The effluent contained Fe and Mn below the permissible levels (1.6 and 1.1 mg/L for Fe and Mn, respectively) stipulated by US National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) for inland surface waters at HRTs higher than 3 days. Results of the mass balance showed more Fe accumulation (60%) in sediments whereas 27% in the filter media. An opposite observation was noticed for Mn.

Membrane filtration for tertiary treatment of biologically treated effluents from the pulp and paper industry

Water Science & Technology Vol 55 No 6 pp 99–107 © IWA Publishing 2007 doi:10.2166/wst.2007.217

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M. Mänttäri and M. Nyström

Lappeenranta University of Technology, Department of Chemical Technology, Laboratory of Membrane Technology and Technical Polymer Chemistry P.O. Box 20, FIN-53851, Lappeenranta, Finland (E-mail:;


Discharge waters from activated sludge processes in the pulp and paper industry and from a municipal wastewater treatment plant were filtered with various nanofiltration (NF) and low pressure reverse osmosis (RO) membranes. The purpose was to study flux, retention, and permeate quality after membrane filtration by using a high shear (CR-250/2) filter. The suitability of the achieved permeates for reuse at the industrial site is also discussed. The NF permeate was practically free from colour and organic compounds but contained significant amount of inorganic compounds e.g. chloride ions, especially when a high amount of sulphate containing discharge waters were filtered, in which case a low pressure RO membrane was needed to successfully remove monovalent anions. Organic compounds were almost completely retained by NF and RO membranes and organic carbon in the permeate was less than 10 mg/dm3 on average. The achieved permeate can easily be reused in paper production. Nanofiltration has a significantly higher flux and also a lower fouling tendency than reverse osmosis but it passes through monovalent ions when there is a high sulphate concentration in the water. Therefore, RO might be needed in such cases to produce excellent process water.

Ozonation of synthetic versus natural textile tannins: recalcitrance and toxicity towards Phaeodactylum tricornutum

Water Science & Technology Vol 55 No 10 pp 45–52 © IWA Publishing 2007 doi:10.2166/wst.2007.305

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F. Germirli Babuna*, Z. Yilmaz*, O.S. Okay**, I. Arslan Alaton* and G. Iskender*

*Istanbul Technical University, Civil Engineering Faculty, Environmental Engineering Department, 34469, Maslak, Istanbul, Turkey (E-mail:;;
 **Istanbul Technical University, Faculty of Naval Architecture and Ocean Engineering, 34469, Maslak, Istanbul, Turkey (E-mail:


A sound in-plant pollution control strategy can only be defined by paying due attention to bio-recalcitrance and toxicity. In this context the levels of toxicity and inert COD introduced to textile dyebath discharges by two alternative auxiliary chemicals, namely natural tannin (NT) and synthetic tannin (ST), were investigated. The effect of 40 minutes ozonation at 1,000 mg h-1 at pH 3.5 on the segregated effluent streams containing the above-mentioned tannin formulations was evaluated in terms of changes in toxicity and recalcitrance. The effect of ozonation on the COD distribution of raw and ozonated NT and ST samples according to their molecular weight cut-offs was also assessed. Both untreated tannin formulations exerted high acute toxicity towards marine microalgae Phaeodactylum tricornutum. Moderate decrease in the toxicity levels of both tannins was observed upon ozonation. The raw NT formulation with a COD content more than twice that of its alternative raw ST had an initially inert soluble COD content of only 25 mg/L, while the initially inert COD was 135 mg/L for ST. As the initially inert soluble COD content of NT was considerably lower, this textile auxiliary did not need chemical pretreatment to improve its biodegradability. On the other hand, the initially inert soluble COD content of ST was reduced by 70% by ozone pretreatment. In terms of residual COD contents achievable after passing through a biological treatment system, raw NT and pretreated ST formulations yielded 100 and 95 mg/L COD, respectively. The highest proportion of COD (46% for NT and 88% for ST) was found in the <1 kDa range. The same fraction increased to 93% for NT after ozonation, while for ST no significant change was observed in the COD distribution of the molecular weight cut-offs after ozonation.

Effect of chemical treatment on the acute toxicity of two commercial textile dye carriers

Water Science & Technology Vol 55 No 10 pp 253–260 © IWA Publishing 2007 doi:10.2166/wst.2007.329

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I. Arslan-Alaton*, G. Iskender*, B. Ozerkan*, F. Germirli Babuna* and O. Okay**

*Istanbul Technical University, Civil Engineering Faculty, Environmental Engineering Department, 34469, Maslak, Istanbul, Turkey (E-mail:;;
 **Istanbul Technical University, Faculty of Naval Architecture and Ocean Engineering, 34469, Maslak, Istanbul, Turkey (E-mail:


In the present experimental study, the effect of chemical treatment (coagulation–flocculation) on the acute toxicity exerted by two commercial dye carriers (called Carrier A and B herein) often used in the textile industry was investigated. Two different test organisms were selected to elucidate the situations in activated sludge treatment systems (activated sludge microorganisms) as well as in receiving water bodies (ultimate marine discharge). According to the results of a comprehensive analysis covering COD removal efficiencies, sludge settling characteristics and operating costs involved in coagulation-flocculation, the optimum treatment conditions were defined as follows; application of 750 mg/L ferrous sulphate at a pH of 9.0 for Carrier A; and application of 550 mg/L ferrous sulphate at a pH of 9.0 for Carrier B. The acute toxicities of both dye carriers towards marine microalgea Phaeodactylum tricornutum could be reduced significantly after being subjected to coagulation–flocculation. Fair toxicity removals (towards heterotrophic mixed bacterial culture accommodated in activated sludge treatment) were obtained with coagulation–flocculation for both of the carriers under investigation.

Detection and identification of dyes showing AhR–binding affinity in treated sewage effluents

Water Science & Technology Vol 53 No 11 pp 35–42 © IWA Publishing 2006 doi:10.2166/wst.2006.335

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P.-H. Chou, S. Matsui and T. Matsuda

Department of Technology and Ecology, Graduate School of Global Environmental Studies, Kyoto University, Sakyo-Ku, Yoshida-Honmachi, Kyoto, 606-8501, Japan (E-mail:;;


A bioassay using the YCM3 recombinant yeast strain was utilised to investigate the presence of dioxin-like compounds that activate the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) in treated sewage effluents. AhR ligand activity was detected in the concentrated extracts of effluent samples collected in March, June and October 2004 from Kyoto city, Japan. HPLC fractionation was carried out using C18 reversed-phase columns, and possible AhR ligands were further isolated and purified. By using LC/MS/MS, one weak AhR ligand was identified to be rhodamine B base, a fluoran dye. In addition, two other coloured ligands were postulated to be disperse anthraquinone dyes or their metabolites because of their UV spectra and HPLC retention times. The AhR-binding affinities of 12 commercial dyes with different chemical structures were also studied. Among the dyes tested, hydrophobic anthraquinone dyes exhibited higher AhR ligand activity, but azo dyes or hydrophilic acid dyes showed no or very low AhR ligand activity. Rhodamine B base and disperse anthraquinone dyes were suggested to be potential xenobiotic AhR ligands. Future research regarding their contamination in aquatic environments and toxicological information is necessary.

Toxicity and biodegradability of high strength/toxic organic liquid industrial effluents and hazardous landfill leachates

Water Science & Technology Vol 46 No 9 pp 163–169 © IWA Publishing 2002

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V. Naidoo*, M. du Preez**, T. Rakgotho***, B. Odhav**** and C.A. Buckley*****

*Pollution Research Group, School of Chemical Engineering, University of Natal, Durban, 4000, South Africa (E-mail:
**Pollution Research Group, School of Chemical Engineering, University of Natal, Durban, 4000, South Africa
***Department of Biological Sciences, ML Sultan Technikon, Durban, 4000, South Africa
****Department of Biological Sciences, ML Sultan Technikon, Durban, 4000, South Africa
*****Pollution Research Group, School of Chemical Engineering, University of Natal, Durban, 4000, South Africa


Industrial effluents and leachates from hazardous landfill sites were tested for toxicity using the anaerobic toxicity assay. This test was done on several industrial effluents (brewery spent grain effluent, a chemical industry effluent, size effluent), and several hazardous landfill leachates giving vastly different toxicity results. The brewery effluent, spent grain effluent and size effluent were found to be less toxic than the chemical effluent and hazardous landfill leachate samples. The chemical industry effluent was found to be most toxic. Leachate samples from the H:h classified hazardous landfill site were found to be less toxic at high concentrations (40% (v/v)) while the H:H hazardous landfill leachate samples were found to be more toxic even at low concentrations of 4% (v/v). The 30 d biochemical methane potential tests revealed that the brewery effluent, organic spent grain effluent and size effluent were 89%, 63%, and 68% biodegradable, respectively. The leachate from Holfontein hazardous landfill site was least biodegradable (19%) while the chemical effluent and Aloes leachate were 29% and 32% biodegradable under anaerobic conditions.

Appropriate basis of effluent standards for industrial wastewaters

Water Science & Technology Vol 45 No 12 pp 1 - 11 © IWA Publishing 2002

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A. Tilche* and D. Orhon**

*European Commission - DG Research Rue de la Loi 200, 1049 Bruxelles, Belgium
**Environmental Engineering Department, Istanbul Technical University, I.T.U. In Fak, 80626, Maslak,, Turkey


Designing industrial discharge standards should reflect the numerical compromise between what can be achieved to prevent environmental pollution and sustainable development. They should involve categorical limitations for specific sources. Micropollutants represent the major concern for industrial effluents. A micropollutant-based subcategorization is needed for an effective control of industrial effluents. Regulations imposed require a comprehensive knowledge of polluting processes and sources, and technological limits of available treatment technologies.

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