The fate of lindane in the conventional activated sludge treatment process
A pilot-scale treatability study was performed to evaluate the fate of lindane (c-hexachlorocyclohexane) in wastewater treatment plants operating in the conventional activated sludge mode. Different types of wastewater (industrial and municipal) spiked with variable lindane concentrations were used at different dosing rates in order to determine distribution and removal under various operational conditions. The major amount (67–91%) of lindane inputs to the treatment process was found to concentrate in primary sludge. A significant linear correlation between the compound’s partition coefficient (log Kp) and the organic fraction of primary sludge (foc) was found. Sorption on primary sludge solids was concluded to be the major removal mechanism. Only 0.1–2.8% of lindane inputs was concentrated in activated sludge. Lindane losses in primary treatment were low (4–26%). Higher losses (up to 61%) were observed during the biological treatment probably due to biodegradation. These losses were negatively correlated with the inflow rate of lindane into the aeration tank. Activated sludge aged about 23 d presented the maximum loss of lindane. Increased sludge age was associated with increased percentages of lindane in the final effluent
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