Anti-fouling in wastewater reuse treatment systems and modeling contaminants of emerging concern leaching potential



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Reverse osmosis (RO) has become prominent for non-potable wastewater reuse systems; however, operational problems such as fouling due to biological attachment and chemical scaling limit reverse osmosis performance. Fouling potentially leads to increased operational energy needs, costs and biological clogs in reuse treatment (RO) and distribution systems. Research objectives aimed to address fouling issues in reuse systems during experiments studying the use of a co-polymerized feed spacer material covalently binding organo-selenium for its anti-fouling potential. The efficacy of selenium doped feed spacer was tested versus real municipal and industrial wastewater sources and varying wastewater solids concentrations during bench-scale experiments. Additionally, a stainless steel water distribution system equipped with a permanent, selenium catalytic biofilm inhibition agent, to improve a systems performance by reducing the frequency of shutting down to clear biological clogs was studied. Modification to the surface of stainless steel piping through covalent binding of organo-selenium compounds was shown to inhibit average biomass concentration (µm3/µm2) and biofilm thickness (µm) attached to stainless steel piping. An additional research objective was to develop screening tool framework and decision support system to understand fate and occurrence of contaminants of emerging concern (CEC) such as personal care products and pharmaceuticals (PPCPs) discharged from passive treatment facilities effluent. The convective-dispersive solute transport model served as a screening tool to better understand leaching potential of PPCPs and exposure to aquifers resulting in the classification and ranking of PPCPs based on their ability to leach, adsorb and degrade.



Water reuse, contaminants of concern leaching potential