Removal of micropollutants from water in a continuous-flow electrical discharge reactor.


RUPT, Department of Applied Physics, Ghent University, Sint-Pietersnieuwstraat 41 B4, 9000 Ghent, Belgium; LIWET, Department of Green Chemistry & Technology, Ghent University, Graaf Karel de Goedelaan 5, 8500 Kortrijk, Belgium. Electronic address: [Email]


The emergence of micropollutants into our aquatic resources is regarded as an issue of increasing environmental concern. To protect the aquatic environment against further contamination with micropollutants, treatment with advanced oxidation processes (AOPs) is put forward as a promising technique. In this work, an innovative AOP based on electrical discharges in a continuous-flow pulsed dielectric barrier discharge (DBD) reactor with falling water film over activated carbon textile is examined for its potential application in water treatment. The effect of various operational parameters including feed gas type, gas flow rate, water flow rate and power on removal and energy efficiency has been studied. To this end, a synthetic micropollutant mixture containing five pesticides (atrazine, alachlor, diuron, dichlorvos and pentachlorophenol), two pharmaceuticals (carbamazepine and 1,7-α-ethinylestradiol), and 1 plasticizer (bisphenol A) is used. While working under optimal conditions, energy consumption was situated in the range 2.42-4.25 kW h/m³, which is about two times lower than the economically viable energy cost of AOPs (5 kW h/m³). Hence, the application of non-thermal plasma could be regarded as a promising alternative AOP for (industrial) wastewater remediation.


Advanced oxidation process,Electrical energy per order,Micropollutants,Non-thermal plasma,Wastewater treatment,