Adsorption of organic micropollutants by zeolite granules and subsequent ozone-based regeneration

Research output: ThesisDissertation (TU Delft)

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Organic micropollutants (OMPs) that occur in the aquatic environment at trace levels are emerging concerns to society. Domestic wastewater is an important source. OMPs end up in surface water and groundwater via conventional municipal wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs), penetrating drinking water. Comprising pharmaceuticals, personal care products, pesticides, industrial chemicals, and other compounds, OMPs are persistent in water and can lead to adverse effects on human health under longterm exposure. As WWTPs are not designed to remove OMPs, various post-treatment technologies have been developed to remove OMPs from wastewater effluents over the last decades, including activated carbon adsorption, ozonation, and membrane filtration. However, the performance of these technologies is significantly influenced by natural organic matter (NOM). In the combined application of ozonation and activated carbon adsorption, the operational costs and the environmental impact are relatively high because of the off-site thermal treatment of the exhausted carbon. The AdOx technology aims to establish a new barrier by applying sequential adsorption and oxidation to remove OMPs from municipal wastewater effectively. As an alternative adsorbent for activated carbon, zeolite possesses uniform pores (0.6-1.0 nm) that appropriately match the molecules of OMPs. This uniform framework can potentially exclude the large molecules of most NOM fractions in wastewater. This innovative technology, selective adsorption of OMPs on zeolite granules followed by on-site ozone-based regeneration of the granules loaded with OMPs, can lead to the next generation of OMPs removal, characterized by high removal efficiencies, low costs, and low environmental impacts....
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Delft University of Technology
  • van der Hoek, J.P., Supervisor
  • Heijman, S.G.J., Supervisor
Award date12 May 2023
Print ISBNs978-94-6366-689-3
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • adsorption
  • organic micropollutants
  • ozone
  • regeneration
  • transformation products
  • wastewater
  • zeolite granules

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