Pros and Cons of the Advanced Oxidation Process - Genesis Water Technologies

Pros and Cons of the Advanced Oxidation Process - Genesis Water Technologies

In many water and wastewater treatment applications, there are a number of pollutants that are difficult to reduce by physical, chemical, or biological means alone. In more recent years, there has been a growing concern regarding pharmaceutical drugs in drinking water and aquatic environments. Pesticides get caught in runoff from farms into freshwater supplies. Personal care products are typically washed down the drain into whatever system they are linked to. Landfill leachate is a toxic cocktail of compounds that can leak into groundwater sources.Such contaminants fall into the category of micropollutants, because they are so small. Their size alone is part of the reason, they are so difficult to remove from water and wastewater by certain means. More efficient removal requires a more powerful oxidation process, this process is called an advanced oxidation process (AOP).

This process creates powerful oxidizing agents in the form of hydroxide (OH), but more specifically, its neutral variant the hydroxyl radical (⦁OH). Its oxidation potential is twice that of chlorine, a commonly used disinfectant. Hydroxyl radicals are the driving forces behind many advanced oxidation processes. Ozone (O3), hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), and ultraviolet light (UV) are often used in various combinations to produce ⦁OH in sufficient quantities to degrade organic (and some inorganic) pollutants. This process can reduce these pollutant concentrations, potentially from hundreds of parts per million (ppm) to just a few parts per billion (ppb).

These radicals are non-selective, therefore, they attack almost all organic materials. After these contaminants are broken down once by the ⦁OH radical they form intermediates. Those intermediates themselves react with the oxidants and mineralize into stable compounds.

Advanced oxidation has been around for several years. Therefore, this process has more than proved its usefulness, however, it is still being researched and optimized accordingly.

A powerful treatment process like the advanced oxidation process has many benefits, but it also has its share of disadvantages. Below are some of the pros and cons of this process....