A submersible UV/VIS spectrometer was used to monitor a paper mill wastewater treatment plant. It utilises the UV/VIS range (200-750 nm) for simultaneous measurement of COD, filtered COD, TSS and nitrate with just a single instrument. The instrument measures in-situ, directly in the process. Paper mill wastewater shows typical and reproducible spectra at various process measuring points. There is a relative maximum at 280 mm due to the absorbance by dissolved organic substances, mainly ligninic acids. Comparison of absorbance spectra distinctly shows the decrease of this peak, indicating biological degradation throughout the treatment process. Summarising, one can say that paper mill wastewater cannot be monitored by a simple UV probe measuring only the absorbance at a single wavelength. The required information can only be gained from the whole spectra. Regarding plant control it is suggested that only the overall spectral information is used. Calibrations to conventional parameters are now merely carried out for purposes of reference-checking.

This content is only available as a PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.