Among the activities appointed by the EC research-project “Integrated water recycling and emission abatement in the textile industry” (Contract: ENV4-CT95-0064), the effectiveness of ozone for improving the biotreatability of recalcitrant effluents as well as for removing from them toxic and/or inhibitory pollutants has been evaluated at lab-scale. Real membrane concentrates (pH=7.9; TOC=190 ppm; CDO=595 ppm; BOD5=0 ppm; Conductivity=5,000 μS/cm; Microtox-EC20=34%) produced at Bulgarograsso (Italy) Wastewater Treatment Plant by nanofiltering biologically treated secondary textile effluents, have been treated with ozonated air (O3conc.=12 ppm) over 120 min. The results have indicated that during ozonation, BOD5 increases from 0 to 75 ppm, whereas COD and TOC both decrease by about 50% and 30 % respectively. As for potentially toxic and/or inhibitory pollutants such as dyes, nonionic surfactants and halogenated organics, all measured as sum parameters, removals higher than 90% were achieved as confirmed by the complete disappearance of acute toxicity in the treated streams. The only ozonation byproducts searched for and found were aldehydes whose total amount continuously increased in the first hour from 1.2 up to 11.8 ppm. Among them, formaldehyde, acetaldehyde, glyoxal, propionaldehyde, and butyraldehyde were identified by HPLC.

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