Evaluation of ion exchange resins for the removal of dissolved organic matter from biologically treated paper mill effluent
Chemosphere | 3 Nov 2012
M Bassandeh, A Antony, P Le-Clech, D Richardson and G Leslie
In this study, the efficiency of six ion exchange resins to reduce the dissolved organic matter (DOM) from a biologically treated newsprint mill effluent was evaluated and the dominant removal mechanism of residual organics was established using advanced organic characterisations techniques. Among the resins screened, TAN1 possessed favourable Freundlich parameters, high resin capacity and solute affinity, closely followed by Marathon MSA and Marathon WBA. The removal efficiency of colour and lignin residuals was generally good for the anion exchange resins, greater than 50% and 75% respectively. In terms of the DOM fractions removal measured through liquid chromatography-organic carbon and nitrogen detector (LC-OCND), the resins mainly targeted the removal of humic and fulvic acids of molecular weight ranging between 500 and 1000gmol(-1), the portion expected to contribute the most to the aromaticity of the effluent. For the anion exchange resins, physical adsorption operated along with ion exchange mechanism assisting to remove neutral and transphilic acid fractions of DOM. The column studies confirmed TAN1 being the best of those screened, exhibited the longest mass transfer zone and maximum treatable volume of effluent. The treatable effluent volume with 50% reduction in dissolved organic carbon (DOC) was 4.8 L for TAN1 followed by Marathon MSA - 3.6L, Marathon 11 - 2.0L, 21K-XLT - 1.5L and Marathon WBA - 1.2L. The cation exchange resin G26 was not effective in DOM removal as the maximum DOC removal obtained was only 27%. The resin capacity could not be completely restored for any of the resins; however, a maximum restoration up to 74% and 93% was achieved for TAN1 and Marathon WBA resins. While this feasibility study indicates the potential option of using ion exchange resins for the reclamation of paper mill effluent, the need for improving the regeneration protocols to restore the resin efficiency is also identified. Similarly, care should be taken while employing LC-OCND for characterising resin-treated effluents, as the resin degradation is expected to contribute some organic carbon moieties misleading the actual performance of resin.
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