Chemical aspects of peracetic acid based wastewater disinfection
Peracetic acid (PAA) has been studied for wastewater disinfection applications for some 30 years and has been shown to be an effective disinfectant against many indicator microbes, including bacteria, viruses, and protozoa. One of the key advantages compared to, e.g., chlorine is the lack of harmful disinfection by-products. In this paper a pilot-scale study of PAA-based disinfection is presented. Indicator microbes (E. coli, total coliforms and coliphage viruses) as well as chemical parameters (pH, oxidation-reduction potential (ORP), chemical and biochemical oxygen demand (COD and BOD), and residual PAA and hydrogen peroxide) were studied. The main aim of this investigation was to study how these selected chemical parameters change during PAA treatment. Based on the results, disinfection was efficient at C·t values of 15 to 30 (mg·min)/l which equals to a PAA dose of 1.5 to 2 mg/l and a contact time of 10 to 15 min. In this concentration area changes in pH, COD and BOD were negligible. However, hydrogen peroxide residues may interfere with COD measurements and apparent COD can be higher than the calculated theoretical oxygen demand (ThOD). Additionally PAA or hydrogen peroxide residues interfere with the BOD test resulting in BOD values that are too low. Residual PAA and ORP were found to correlate with remaining amounts of bacteria.
Keywords: tertiary wastewater disinfection, peracetic acid, total coliform, E. coli, coliphages