Wastewater reuse: removal of emerging trace organic contaminants (TrOC)
This chapter reviews current and new technologies for the removal of emerging TrOC from wastewater for reuse purposes. In particular, it compares the relative performance of Membrane bioreactors (MBR) with other conventional biological processes. It is shown that MBR has many intrinsic advantages over other methods leading to superior performance. Fundamental to this is the presence of a membrane barrier which provides a range of other adsorption mechanisms for TrOC. However, in practice there are many factors affecting TrOC removal by MBR, leading to sometimes conflicting reports in the literature from both lab scale studies as well as full scale plants. These factors include both structural and physicochemical characteristics of the TrOC as well as operational parameters of the MBR process. It is concluded that further work is required, particularly in areas such as improved understanding of the overall fate and degradation pathways of TrOC undergoing MBR processes, investigation of specific microbial-TrOC interactions and development of hybrid systems having MBR at the core to treat the wide varieties of TrOC from wastewater.