One of the objectives of this study was to delineate the effect of nitrate on diethyl phthalate (DEP) oxidation by conducting a bench-scale ultraviolet (UV)/H2O2 and O3/H2O2 operations as suggested in a previous study. We also aim to investigate DEP oxidation at various UV doses and H2O2 concentrations by performing a pilot-scale advanced oxidation processes (AOP) system, into which a portion of the effluent from a pilot-scale membrane bioreactor (MBR) plant was pumped. In the bench-scale AOP operation, the O3 oxidation alone as well as the UV irradiation without H2O2 addition could be among the desirable alternatives for the efficient removal of DEP dissolved in aqueous solutions at a low DEP concentration range of 85±15 μg/L. The adverse effect in the UV/H2O2 process was significantly greater than that in the UV oxidation alone, and its oxidation was almost halved by the nitrate. However, the nitrate clearly enhanced the DEP oxidation in the O3 oxidation and O3/H2O2 process. Especially, the addition of nitrate almost doubled the DEP oxidation efficiency in the O3/H2O2 process. The series of pilot-scale AOP operations confirmed that about 30–50% of DEP dissolved in the treated MBR effluent streams was, at least, oxidized by the O3 oxidation alone as well as the UV irradiation without H2O2 addition. The UV photolysis of H2O2 was most effective for DEP degradation with an H2O2 concentration of 40 mg/L at a UV dose of 500 mJ/cm2.

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