The combined biological and chemical treatments of the cellulose effluents have been studied aiming to promote a more significant degradation of their recalcitrant compounds and to reduce their toxicity, as compared with the isolated treatments. In this work the effluent from acid stages of the ECF bleaching of Eucalyptus urograndis pulp was treated by using separately activated sludge and UV radiation and its combination. The treatment efficiency was evaluated by colour, total phenol, COD, BOD, UV spectroscopy, molar weight distribution and toxicity. The untreated effluent presented 587 ± 18 CU, 19.3 ± 0.6 mg.L−1 of total phenol, 2,246 ± 137 mgO2.L−1 of COD and 904 ± 48 mgO2.L−1 of BOD. It did not show acute toxicity to Escherichia coli, but presented chronic toxicity to Selenastrum capricornutum (EC50 = 25%). The sludge treatment resulted in a colour increasing of 42% and decreasing of total phenol, COD and BOD of 33%, 64% and 92%, respectively. The UV radiation treatment for 120 min resulted in a decrease of colour, total phenol, BOD and COD of 70%, 43%, 62% and 43%, respectively. The combined treatment promoted an expressive decrease for colour and total phenol. The UV absorption indicated a degradation of the aromatic compounds. The biological treatment did not remove chronic toxicity and after UV radiation treatment, a 10 times improving toxicity was noticed.

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