Removal of selected pesticides from groundwater by membrane distillation

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Journal Article
Environmental Science and Pollution Research, 2018, 25 (21), pp. 20336 - 20347
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© 2017, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg. The removal of five selected pesticide compounds in a brackish model groundwater solution was examined using a bench scale direct contact membrane distillation (DCMD) system. It was found that the rejection rate of the pesticides in DCMD is mainly influenced by its properties. Compounds with low hydrophobic characteristics and low vapour pressure showed a high rejection rate (70–99%), whereas compounds with a high vapour pressure or high hydrophobicity (LogD) showed a reduced rejection (30–50%) at a water recovery of 75%. The influence of groundwater feed solution contents such as the presence of organics (humic acid) and inorganic ions (Na+, Ca2+, Mg2+, Cl− and SO42−) as well as feed temperature (40, 55 and 70 °C) on the rejection of the pesticides in DCMD operation was also evaluated. The results showed that the presence of inorganic ions and organics in the feed solution influences the pesticides rejection in DCMD operation to a minor degree. In contrast, reduced rejection of pesticides with high vapour pressure was observed. A rapid small-scale column test (RSSCT) was carried out to study the removal of any remaining substances in the permeate by adsorption onto granular activated carbon (GAC). RSSCT showed promising performance of GAC as a post-treatment option.
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