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Environ Pollut. 1996;92(2):155-64.

Treatment of organic aqueous wastes: Wet air oxidation and Wet Peroxide Oxidation.

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Laboratoire d'Ingénierie des Procédés de l'Environment, Département de Génie des Procédés Industriels, Institut National des Sciences Appliquées, Complexe Scientifique de Rangueil, F-31077 Toulouse, France.


There is growing concern about the problems of waste elimination. We should consider our environment as being borrowed from future generations and refrain from leaving a legacy of problems we are not able to solve. Various oxidation techniques are suited for the elimination of organic aqueous wastes, but because of the environmental drawbacks of incineration, enclosed processes, like liquid phase oxidation should be preferred. Wet air oxidation (WAO) under high temperature (200-325 degrees C) and pressure (50-150 bar) is suited to such liquid wastes and various catalysts, including hydrogen peroxide, can be used in order to increase the efficiency without increasing temperature and pressure. Wet Peroxide Oxidation (WPO) is a similar process. A comparable oxidation efficiency is obtained when using hydrogen peroxide as the oxidising agent instead of oxygen, at a temperature of only 100-120 degrees C. As opposed to WAO, which is capital intensive, WPO needs limited capital but generates higher running costs. The paper reviews the major results obtained for both processes and assesses the field of possible application of each of them. TOC removal efficiencies typically obtained range from 65 to 90% or more for most of the pollutants.


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