UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

UV/Vacuum-UV Advanced Oxidation Process for the treatment of micropollutants from drinking water sources under common operational temperatures Serrano Mora, Adrian


Vacuum-UV Advanced Oxidation Process (AOP) has been identified as a viable candidate to treat chemical contaminants in drinking water. In contrast to the commercially available and widely applied UV/H₂O₂ AOP, VUV AOP does not rely on the addition of chemicals for the generation of hydroxyl radicals. As a result, the technology is very appealing to small systems and rural communities which often lack infrastructure and qualified personnel to operate complex systems. The primary objective of this research was to investigate the effect of temperature on the removal efficiency and energy consumption of a UV/VUV flow-through photoreactor. Additionally, the optical absorption properties at 185 nm of water and naturally occurring solutes such as Natural Organic Matter (NOM), nitrate, sulphate and chloride were studied between 3.6 and 25.0 °C. The secondary objective of this research was to investigate the effect of UV/VUV treatment on the removal of a mixture of micropollutants (e.g., pharmaceuticals, hormones, pesticides). The results showed that temperature does not have a significant impact on process efficiency and energy consumption. Moreover, owing to the presence of naturally occurring solutes, it was found that the production of OH radicals was to some extent limited at 3.6 °C, therefore slightly lower removals were observed at low temperature. When evaluated on a mixture of micropollutants, the UV/VUV process could potentially degrade a variety of substances with feasible energy consumption. Other than for two of the 12 micropollutants tested, at a flow-rate of 1.9 L min-¹, the VUV process was competitive to the UV/H₂O₂ process.

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