pH modified UV treatment of water pesticidal and pharmaceutical
The Invention The invention consists of introducing a pH influenced polychromatic ultra-violet (UV) photolysis process for disinfection of water contaminated by several organic components (alone or in a mixture of contaminants), where the pH to enhance contaminant breakdown is optimized by correlating each contaminant type with parameters such as pKa and photolytic activity. A data base of optimized pH values is used to tailor the process for the specific contaminants found in the effluent. The Need Pharmaceuticals and pesticides are among organic contaminants that enter the water table due to their extensive use in industry. The potential sources for pharmaceutical and pesticide pollution include chemical manufacture facilities, medical facilities and those who receive them and use them (humans/animals/plants). Nevertheless, most of these chemicals are not regulated in any way and their potential health effects and toxicities in the environment are not well known. Ultraviolet (UV) treatment of water is being increasingly used for disinfection of microorganisms in drinking water and wastewater effluents. Direct photolysis for removal of contaminants has been shown to be effective only when the absorption spectrum of the pollutant overlaps the emission spectrum of the UV lamp and the quantum yield (QY) of the photochemical process is reasonably large. For most chemicals, however, direct UV photolysis alone is not a reasonable process for degradation, since numerous chemical contaminants of concern do absorb UV at wavelengths below 300 nm, but at relatively low QY. There is therefore a need to modify the contaminant so that it can undergo effective UV oxidation. Potential Applications In spite of the growing occurrence of pharmaceutical and pesticide residues in the environment, there is still a lack of specially designated treatment for the removal of mixtures of contaminants from water and effluents. The main target of the proposed treatment is defined as Pollution Prevention at Source, which is treatment of local streams contaminated by organic contaminants before entering the environment, such as:
• Industrial water: food, beverage and pharmacology
• Hospital waste-water Applying the proposed treatment for "End of Pipe" use such as tertiary treatment at municipal water and waste water treatment plants is also an attractive market.
Advantages The advantages of this method are to enable a wide range of contaminants to lend themselves to the efficient and cost effective method of UV disinfection on a large scale. pH can be easily and safely modified in the waste water stream to cause different types of contaminants to be modified to present a wide absorption band to the UV lamp spectrum.
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