Abstract

Surrogate measurements based on excitation-emission matrix fluorescence spectra (EEMs) and ultraviolet-visible absorption spectra (UV-vis) were used to monitor the evolution of dissolved organic matter (DOM) in landfill leachate during a combination of biological and physical-chemical treatment consisting of partial nitritation-anammox (PN-Anammox) or nitrification-denitrification (N-DN) combined with granular active carbon adsorption (GAC). PN-Anammox resulted in higher nitrogen removal (81%), whereas N-DN required addition of an external carbon source to increase nitrogen removal from 24% to 56%. Four DOM components (C1 to C4) were identified by excitation-emission matrix-parallel factor analysis (EEM-PARAFAC). N-DN showed a greater ability to remove humic-like components (C1 and C3), while the protein-like component (C4) was better removed by PN-Anammox. Both biological treatment processes showed limited removal of the medium molecular humic-like component (C2). In addition, the synergistic effect of biological treatments and adsorption was studied. The combination of PN-Anammox and GAC adsorption could remove C4 completely and also showed a good removal efficiency for C1 and C2. The Thomas model of adsorption revealed that GAC had the maximum adsorption capacity for PN-Anammox treated leachate. This study demonstrated better removal of nitrogen and fluorescence DOM by a combination of PN-Anammox and GAC adsorption, and provides practical and technical support for improved landfill leachate treatment.

Graphical Abstract

Graphical Abstract
Graphical Abstract
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