The work presented in this paper is focused on the effect of photochemical (H2O2/UV-C) pre-treatment on COD fractionation and degradation kinetics of a non-ionic textile surfactant. In the first part of the study, the COD of non-ionic surfactant was adjusted to 1000 mg/L in order to simulate real effluent originating from the textile preparation stage featuring desizing, scouring, washing and rinsing operations. The surfactant was subjected to H2O2/UV-C pretreatment for up to 120 min at a dose of 30 mM (980 mg/L) H2O2. The biodegradability studies for untreated and photochemically treated samples were evaluated on the basis of modeling of oxygen uptake rate (OUR) profiles. Modelling of OUR profiles conducted for untreated sample showed that single complex substrate was subjected to enzymatic breakdown and disintegrated into one readily and two types of slowly biodegradable substrates. After modelling the biodegradation of photochemically pretreated sample, the readily biodegradable COD fraction was reduced, on the other hand, more slowly biodegradable organics were generated. A higher disintegration rate was obtained for chemically pretreated samples. However, other kinetic constants of growth and hydrolysis processes were not affected considerably.

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