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Chemosphere. 2013 Jul;92(6):731-7. doi: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2013.04.021. Epub 2013 May 9.

Hybridization of natural systems with advanced treatment processes for organic micropollutant removals: new concepts in multi-barrier treatment.

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  • 1King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, Building 4, Room: 4231-WS11, Thuwal 23955-6900, Saudi Arabia.


Organic micropollutants (OMPs) represent a major constraint in drinking water supply. In the past, emphasis has been on individual treatment processes comprising conventional treatment (coagulation, sedimentation, and filtration) followed by advanced treatment processes (adsorption, ion-exchange, oxidation, and membrane separation). With the depletion of water resources and high demand for power and chemical usage, efforts need to be made to judiciously use advanced treatment processes. There is a new interest in multiple barriers with synergies in which two coupled processes can function as a hybrid process. Within the context of this paper, the hybrid processes include a natural treatment process coupled with an advanced process. Pilot/full-scale studies have shown efficient removal of OMPs by these hybrid processes. With this hybridization, the usage of resources such as power and chemicals can be reduced. In this study, coupling/hybridization of aquifer recharge and recovery (ARR) with oxidation (O3), advanced oxidation process which involves OH radicals (AOP), nanofiltration (NF), reverse osmosis (RO) and granular activated carbon (GAC) adsorption for OMP removal was studied. O3 or AOP as a pre-treatment and GAC, NF, RO, or UV/chlorination as a post-treatment to ARR was studied. NF can be replaced by RO for removal of OMPs since studies have shown similar performance of NF to RO for removal of many OMPs, thereby reducing costs and providing a more sustainable approach.

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