Author:  Daniel E. Meeroff, Ph.D., Department of Civil, Environmental & Geomatics Engineering, Florida Atlantic University
Co-Author:  Frank Youngman, M.S.C.E., Department of Civil, Environmental & Geomatics Engineering, Florida Atlantic University

Project Web Address:

With new, more stringent regulations for wastewater disposal in Florida’s horizon, the ability to safely discharge leachate will become increasingly difficult. Florida’s future rules include among others: severe numerical nutrient criteria as well as reuse water quality requirements for deepwell injection. To remain at the leading edge of environmentally responsible solid waste management, new technologies are needed to effectively treat leachate on site in the future. Florida Atlantic University has been pioneering advanced oxidation methods for leachate management that can mineralize COD, remove heavy metals, disinfect pathogens, reduce ammonia levels, decrease color, and effectively detoxify leachate so that it can be safely discharged to a wastewater
treatment plant. Photocatalytic oxidation is an advanced oxidation procss (AOP) which has shown ability to reduce toxicity of an array of leachate constituents including organics, inorganics and heavy metals. The purpose of this manuscript is to scale up the batch scale study of UV/TiO2 photocatalysis of leachate utilizing a pilot scale falling film reactor. In this research, the use of UV/TiO2 for the removal of chemical oxygen demand
(COD), ammonia, alkalinity and color was studied in order to optimize catalyst dosage, determine pH effects and reaction kinetics and develop preliminary cost estimates. This research will address a major technological need for sustainable, economical options for routine leachate treatment and safe discharge to the environment.

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