Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 26, Issue 1, pp 577–585 | Cite as

Efficiency of sequential UV/H2O2 and biofilm process for the treatment of secondary effluent

  • Peng-Fei Yan
  • Shoujun Yuan
  • Wei Wang
  • Zhen-Hu Hu
  • Yang Mu
  • Han-Qing Yu
Research Article


In response to the shortage of water resources, multiple processes have been applied to turn wastewater secondary effluent (SE) into potable water. However, trace organic contaminants (TOrCs) and high concentrations of organic matter contained in SE pose a significant challenge to the reclamation. In this manuscript, combined UV-based and biofilm processes were used to treat the SE spiked with ibuprofen (IBU) and clofibric acid (CA). The efficiency of these sequential treatments was characterized in terms of changes in dissolved organic carbon (DOC), absorbance at 254 nm (A254), fluorescence excitation-emission matrix (FEEM), the concentration of IBU and CA, and molecular weight of SE. Parallel factor (PARAFAC) was applied as the analysis method for FEEM of the samples and two fluorescent components were successfully identified: humic-like substances (C1) and protein-like matter (C2). Large reductions in A254, C1, C2, IBU, and CA were observed during the UV-based processes, especially with the addition of H2O2. Nearly 50% of A254, 80% of the component C1 were decreased and almost complete removal of the component C2 and TOrCs was achieved by UV/2.0 mM H2O2 after 90-min treatment. During the oxidation processes, the formation of lower molecular weight (LMW) compounds was detected, and the biodegradability of the organic matters was greatly increased. Although no significant DOC reduction was obtained in UV-based processes, an obvious further DOC reduction (30~60%) was achieved by biofilm treatment following UV-based processes, especially after UV/H2O2 treatments. In the meantime, large amounts of LMW were removed in the biofilm treatment process. This manuscript provides an effective advanced treatment of SE for the removal of DOC and TOrCs, facilitating the wastewater reclamation.


Biofilm Dissolved organic carbon Removal Secondary effluent Trace organic contaminants UV/H2O2 



This research was partially supported by the National Science Foundation of China (51538012, 51578205, 51728801) and the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (JZ2016HGTB0722).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Civil EngineeringHefei University of TechnologyHefeiChina
  2. 2.Department of ChemistryUniversity of Science and Technology of ChinaHefeiChina

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