The occurrence of micropollutants (MPs) in various streams of municipal wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs), and their fate and removal processes are discussed. The fate of MPs in WWTPs largely depends on adsorption on suspended particulates, primary and secondary sludge and dissolved organic carbon, and removal occurs due to coagulation-flocculation, and biodegradation. The log Kow (>2.5) and pKa are the dominant properties of the MPs, and the concentration, organic fraction, and surface charge of suspended particulates dictate the extent of adsorption of MPs. Most of the conventional WWTPs do not remove complex MPs by biodegradation or biotransformation effectively (kbio ≤0.0042 L/gss/h), and the removal varies widely for different compounds, as well as for the same substance, due to operational conditions such as aerobic, anaerobic, anoxic, sludge retention time (SRT), pH, redox potential, and temperature. Membrane bioreactor performs better for moderately biodegradable compounds due to the diverse nature of microorganisms as well as greater adaptability due to longer SRT. Ozone and UV-based advanced oxidation processes, membrane filtration can be used for tertiary treatment due to their high rate as well as easy implementation. Various partition coefficients and rate constants values for different MPs are also provided for design and application.
Part of the book: Physico-Chemical Wastewater Treatment and Resource Recovery