A biosorption column and a settling tank were operated for 6 months with combined municipal and industrial wastewaters (1 m3/hr) to study the effect of dissolved oxygen (DO) levels and Fe3+ dosage on removal efficiency of dissolved and suspended organics prior to biological treatment. High DO (>0.4 mg/L) were found to be detrimental for soluble chemical oxygen demand (COD) removals and iron dosing (up to 20 ppm) did not improve the overall performance. The system performed significantly better at high loading rate (>20 kg COD.m−3.d−1) where suspended solids and COD removals were greater than 80% and 60%, respectively. This is a significant improvement compared to the conventional primary sedimentation tank, and the process is a promising alternative for the pre-treatment of industrial wastewater.

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