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Concept: Chemical reactor


The treatment of mature landfill leachate by EF-Fere (also called Fered-Fenton) method was carried out in a continuous stirred tank reactor (CSTR) using Ti/RuO(2)-IrO(2)-SnO(2)-TiO(2) mesh anodes and Ti mesh cathodes. The effects of important parameters, including initial pH, inter-electrode gap, H(2)O(2) to Fe(2+) molar ratio, H(2)O(2) dosage and hydraulic retention time, on COD removal were investigated. The results showed that the complete mixing condition was fulfilled in the electrochemical reactor employed in this study and COD removal followed a modified pseudo-first order kinetic model. The COD removal efficiency increased with the decrease of H(2)O(2) to Fe(2+) molar ratio and hydraulic retention time. There existed an optimal inter-electrode gap or H(2)O(2) dosage so that the highest COD removal was achieved. Nearly the same COD removal was obtained at initial pH 3 and 5, but the steady state was quickly achieved at initial pH 3. The organic pollutants in the leachate were analyzed through a gas chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry (GC-MS) system. About 73 organics were detected in the leachate, and 52 of which were completely removed after EF-Fere process.

Concepts: Mass spectrometry, Chromatography, Analytical chemistry, Gas chromatography, Anaerobic digestion, Leachate, Landfill, Chemical reactor


Kinetic theory and thermodynamics of reaction networks are extended to the out-of-equilibrium dynamics of continuous-flow stirred tank reactors (CSTR) and serial transfers. On the basis of their stoichiometry matrix, the conservation laws and the cycles of the network are determined for both dynamics. It is shown that the CSTR and serial transfer dynamics are equivalent in the limit where the time interval between the transfers tends to zero proportionally to the ratio of the fractions of fresh to transferred solutions. These results are illustrated with a finite cross-catalytic reaction network and an infinite reaction network describing mass exchange between polymers. Serial transfer dynamics is typically used in molecular evolution experiments in the context of research on the origins of life. The present study is shedding a new light on the role played by serial transfer parameters in these experiments.

Concepts: Present, Time, Fundamental physics concepts, Physics, Ratio, Topology, Collision theory, Chemical reactor


The application of conventional physicochemical and microbiological techniques for the removal of organic pollutants has limitations for its utilization on wastewaters as landfill leachates because of their high concentration of not easily biodegradable organic compounds. The use of ozone-based technologies is an alternative and complementary treatment for this type of wastewaters. This paper reports the study of the degradation of landfill leachates from different stages of a treatment plant using ozone and ozone + UV. The experimental work included the determination of the temporal evolution of COD, TOC, UV254, and color. Along the experimental runs, the instantaneous off-gas ozone concentration was measured. The reaction kinetics follows a global second order expression with respect to COD and ozone concentrations. A kinetic model which takes into account the gas liquid mass transfer coupled with the chemical reaction was developed, and the corresponding parameters of the reacting system were determined. The mathematical model is able to appropriately simulate COD and ozone concentrations but exhibiting limitations when varying the leachate type. The potential application of ozone was verified, although the estimated efficiencies for COD removal and ozone consumption as well as the effect of UV radiation show variations on their trends. In this sense, it is interesting to note that the relative ozone yield has significant oscillations as the reaction proceeds. Finally, the set of experimental results demonstrates the crucial importance of the selection of process conditions to improve ozone efficiencies. This approach should consider variations in the ozone supply in order to minimize losses as well as the design of exhaustion methods as multiple stage reactors using chemical engineering design tools.

Concepts: Chemical reaction, Chemistry, Engineering, Chemical engineering, Reaction rate, Leachate, Landfill, Chemical reactor


Degradation of total phenol (TPh) and organic matter, (expressed as total organic carbon TOC), of a simulated olive mill wastewater was evaluated by the Fenton oxidation process under batch and continuous mode conditions. A mixture of six phenolic acids usually found in these agro-industrial wastewaters was used for this purpose. The study focused on the optimization of key operational parameters of the Fenton process in a batch reactor, namely Fe(2+) dosage, hydrogen peroxide concentration, pH, and reaction temperature. On the assessment of the process efficiency, > 99% of TPh and > 56% of TOC removal were attained when [Fe(2+)] = 100 ppm, [H2O2] = 2.0 g/L, T = 30 °C, and initial pH = 5.0, after 300 min of reaction. Under those operational conditions, experiments on a continuous stirred-tank reactor (CSTR) were performed for different space-time values (τ). TOC and TPh removals of 47.5 and 96.9%, respectively, were reached at steady-state (for τ = 120 min). High removal of COD (> 75%) and BOD5 (> 70%) was achieved for both batch and CSTR optimum conditions; analysis of the BOD5/COD ratio also revealed an increase in the effluent’s biodegradability. Despite the high removal of lumped parameters, the treated effluent did not met the Portuguese legal limits for direct discharge of wastewaters into water bodies, which indicates that coupled chemical-biological process may be the best solution for real olive mill wastewater treatment.

Concepts: Oxygen, Carbon dioxide, Hydrogen, Redox, Water pollution, Hydrogen peroxide, Wastewater, Chemical reactor


To assess the combination of electrocoagulation and anaerobic co-digestion of olive mill wastewaters (OMWW) with other substrates, such as chicken manure, in a continuous stirred tank reactor for biogas production.

Concepts: Anaerobic digestion, Biogas, Olive oil, Biofuels, Chemical reactor


Continuous H2 and CH4 production in a two-stage process to increase energy recovery from agave bagasse enzymatic-hydrolysate was studied. In the first stage, the effect of organic loading rate (OLR) and stirring speed on volumetric hydrogen production rate (VHPR) was evaluated in a continuous stirred tank reactor (CSTR); by controlling the homoacetogenesis with the agitation speed and maintaining an OLR of 44 g COD/L-d, it was possible to reach a VHPR of 6 L H2/L-d, equivalent to 1.34 kJ/g bagasse. In the second stage, the effluent from CSTR was used as substrate to feed a UASB reactor for CH4 production. Volumetric methane production rate (VMPR) of 6.4 L CH4/L-d was achieved with a high OLR (20 g COD/L-d) and short hydraulic retention time (HRT, 14 h), producing 225 mL CH4/g-bagasse equivalent to 7.88 kJ/g bagasse. The two-stage continuous process significantly increased energy conversion efficiency (56%) compared to one-stage hydrogen production (8.2%).

Concepts: Hydrogen, Thermodynamics, Anaerobic digestion, Multistage rocket, Heat of combustion, Chemical reactor, Agave tequilana


A comparison of Cu extraction yields for three different ethylenediamine-N,N'-disuccinic acid (EDDS)-enhanced washing configurations was performed on a Cu-contaminated soil. Batch experiments were used to simulate a single-stage continuous stirred tank reactor (CSTR) and a multi-stage (side feeding and counter-current) reactor. Single-stage CSTR conditions were simulated for various EDDS:(Cu + Cd + Pb + Co + Ni + Zn) molar ratio (EDDS:M ratio) (from 1 to 30) and liquid to soil (L/S) ratio (from 15 to 45). The highest Cu extraction yield (≃56%) was achieved with EDDS:M = 30. In contrast, a Cu extraction yield decrease was observed with increasing L/S ratio with highest extracted Cu achievement (≃48%) for L/S = 15. Side feeding configuration was tested in four experimental conditions through different fractionation mode of EDDS dose and treatment time at each washing step. Results from the four tests showed all enhanced Cu extraction (maximum values from ≃43 to ≃51%) achieved at lower treatment time and lower EDDS:M molar ratio compared to CSTR configuration with L/S = 25 and EDDS:M = 10. The counter-current washing was carried out through two washing flows achieving a process performance enhancement with 27% increase of extracted Cu compared to single-stage CSTR configuration. Higher Cu extraction percentage (36.8%) was observed in the first washing phase than in the second one (24.7%).

Concepts: Simulation, Yield, Chemical reactor, Lecithin-sphingomyelin ratio


The effects of orange azo dye over ammonia oxidizing bacteria (AOB) and anammox bacteria activities were tested. Performed batch tests indicated that concentrations lower than 650 mgorange/L stimulated AOB activity, while anammox bacteria activity was inhibited at concentrations higher than 25 mgorange/L. Long-term performance of a continuous stirred tank reactor (CSTR) for the partial nitritation and a sequencing batch reactor (SBR) for the anammox process was tested in the presence of 50 mgorange/L. In the case of the partial nitritation process, both the biomass concentration and the specific AOB activity increased after 50 days of orange azo dye addition. Regarding the anammox process, specific activity decreased down to 58% after 12 days of operation with continuous feeding of 50 mgorange/L. However, the anammox activity was completely recovered only 54 days after stopping the dye addition in the feeding. Once the biomass was saturated the azo dye adsorption onto the biomass was insignificant in the CSTR for the partial nitritation process fed with 50 mgorange/L. However, in the SBR the absorption was determined as 6.4 mgorange/g volatile suspended solids. No biological decolorization was observed in both processes.

Concepts: Photosynthesis, Nitrogen, Dye, Azo compound, Denitrification, Azo dyes, Chemical reactor


Corn stover (CS) is the agricultural by-product of maize cultivation. Due to its high abundance and high energy content it is a promising substrate for the bioenergy sector. However, it is currently neglected in industrial scale biogas plants, because of its slow decomposition and hydrophobic character. To assess the maximum biomethane potential of CS, long-term batch fermentations were carried out with various substrate concentrations and particle sizes for 72 days. In separate experiments we adapted the biogas producing microbial community in wet fermentation arrangement first to the lignocellulosic substrate, in Continuous Stirred Tank Reactor (CSTR), then subsequently, by continuously elevating the feed-in concentration, to dry conditions in solid state fermenters (SS-AD). In the batch tests, the <10 mm fraction of the grinded and sieved CS was amenable for biogasification, but it required 10% more time to produce 90% of the total biomethane yield than the <2 mm sized fraction, although in the total yields there was no significant difference between the two size ranges. We also observed that increasing amount of substrate added to the fermentation lowered the specific methane yield. In the CSTR experiment, the daily substrate loading was gradually increased from 1 to 2 gvs/L/day until the system produced signs of overloading. Then the biomass was transferred to SS-AD reactors and the adaptation process was studied. Although the specific methane yields were lower in the SS-AD arrangement (177 mL CH4/gvs in CSTR vs. 105 mL in SS-AD), the benefits of process operational parameters, i.e. lower energy consumption, smaller reactor volume, digestate amount generated and simpler configuration, may compensate the somewhat lower yield.

Concepts: Anaerobic digestion, Biogas, Maize, Biofuel, Methane, Adaptation, Bioenergy, Chemical reactor


Tetramethylammonium hydroxide (TMAH) is widely used in high-tech industries as a developing agent. Ultraviolet (UV) light-activated persulfate (PS, S2O8(2-)) can be used to generate strongly oxidative sulfate radicals, and it also exhibits the potential to treat TMAH-containing wastewater. This study initially investigated the effect of S2O8(2-) concentration and UV strength on the UV/S2O8(2-) process for the degradation of TMAH in a batch reactor. The results suggested that 15 watts (W) of UV-activated S2O8(2-) at concentrations of 10 or 50 mM resulted in pseudo-first-order TMAH degradation rate constants of 3.1-4.2 × 10(-2) min(-1), which was adopted for determining the hydraulic retention time (HRT) in a continuous stirred tank reactor (CSTR). The operating conditions (15 W UV/10 mM S2O8(2-)) with a HRT of 129 min resulted in stable residual concentrations of S2O8(2-) and TMAH at approximately 2.6 mM and 20 mg L(-1) in effluent, respectively. Several TMAH degradation intermediates including trimethylamine, dimethylamine, and methylamine were also detected. The effluent was adjusted to a neutral pH and evaluated for its biological acute toxicity using Cyprinus carpio as a bioassay organism. The “bio-acute toxicity unit” (TUa) was determined to be 1.41, which indicated that the effluent was acceptable for being discharged into an aquatic ecosystem.

Concepts: Water pollution, Ecosystem, Photolithography, Chemical reactor, Methylamine, Tetramethylammonium hydroxide, Trimethylamine, Dimethylamine