The effectiveness of ozone treatment for improving the biodegradability of recalcitrant pollutants has been proved by investigating the ozonation reaction of FAST-VIOLET-B (FVB) a bioresistant chemical intermediate of azo-dyes. Laboratory scale experiments have been carried out, at room temperature, by bubbling, for 90 min, ozonated air (9ppmO3/min) into 0.35 1 of an alkaline (pH=11) aqueous solution (50 ppm) of FVB. The experimental results indicate that during the ozonation, even though complete FVB degradation occurs in 10 min, ozone consumption goes on for a further 20 min after which time most degradation reactions are completed. The main ozonation by-products, identified by HPLC, IC, and GC-MS are formaldehyde, acetaldehyde, glyoxal, acetone, acetic-, formic-, oxalic- and carbonic-acid, plus six FVB derivatives scarcely biodegradable. At the end of the ozonation, i.e. after 30 min., the initial values of TOC (35 mgC/l) and COD (103 mgO2/l) are respectively 27 and 25 and correspond to a relative removal of about 23% and 76%. As for FVB solution biodegradability expressed as (BOD5)/(COD) ratio, during the first 10 min its value regularly increases from zero up to a maximum of 0.75 that corresponds to an ozone consumption of 2.4 mg per each mg of organic carbon initially present in the solution.

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