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Water 2019, 11(4), 730; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11040730

Options for Removing Refractory Organic Substances in Pre-Treated Process Water from Hydrothermal Carbonization

1
Department of Environmental Engineering and Applied Computer Science, Ostwestfalen-Lippe University of Applied Sciences and Arts, Campus Hoexter, D-37671 Hoexter, Germany
2
Department of Civil Engineering, Ostwestfalen-Lippe University of Applied Sciences and Arts, Campus Detmold, D-32756 Detmold, Germany
3
OWL-Umweltingenieure, D-33161 Hövelhof, Germany
4
TBF + Partner AG, CH-8042 Zürich, Switzerland
5
EnviroChemie, D-64380 Rossdorf, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 15 February 2019 / Revised: 18 March 2019 / Accepted: 4 April 2019 / Published: 9 April 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Water and Wastewater Treatment)
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Abstract

Granular activated carbon (GAC) adsorption, as well as ozonation in combination with biodegradation was investigated in order to remove refractory organics from biologically pre-treated process waters (PW) produced by the hydrothermal carbonization (HTC) of spent grains and fine mulch. Kinetic tests revealed that the organics in spent grains PW had much lower molecular weights than organics in fine mulch PW. Moreover, isotherms showed that they were more strongly adsorbable. This was confirmed in GAC column experiments, where the breakthrough curves could be predicted fairly well by a dynamic adsorption model. On the other hand, ozonation had a stronger effect on fine mulch PW with respect to an enhancement of the aerobic degradability. Thus, the type of input material determines the properties of soluble reaction products from the carbonization process that must be accounted for when selecting the most suitable post-treatment method for HTC PW. However, adsorption on granular activated carbon should always be the final stage. View Full-Text
Keywords: HTC process water; post-treatment; refractory organics; activated carbon adsorption; ozonation HTC process water; post-treatment; refractory organics; activated carbon adsorption; ozonation
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Fettig, J.; Austermann-Haun, U.; Meier, J.-F.; Busch, A.; Gilbert, E. Options for Removing Refractory Organic Substances in Pre-Treated Process Water from Hydrothermal Carbonization. Water 2019, 11, 730.

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