Migration of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in urban treatment sludge to the air during PAH removal applications


JOURNAL OF THE AIR & WASTE MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATION, vol.64, no.5, pp.568-577, 2014 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier


In the present study, the amounts of polycylic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) penetrating into air during PAH removal applications from the urban treatment sludge were investigated. The effects of the temperature, photocatalyst type, and dose on the PAH removal efficiencies and PAH evaporation were explained. The sludge samples were taken from an urban wastewater treatment plant located in the city of Bursa, with 585,000 equivalent population. The ultraviolet C (UV-C) light of 254 nm wavelength was used within the UV applications performed on a specially designed setup. Internal air of the setup was vacuumed through polyurethane foam (PUF) columns in order to collect the evaporated PAHs from the sludge during the PAH removal applications. All experiments were performed with three repetitions. The PAH concentrations were measured by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). It was observed that the amounts of PAHs penetrating into the air were increased with increase of temperature, and more than 80% of PAHs migrated to the air consisted of 3-ring compounds during the UV and UV-diethylamine (DEA) experiments at 38 and 53 degrees C. It was determined that 40% decrease was ensured in sigma(12) (total of 12) PAH amounts with UV application and 13% of PAHs in sludge penetrated into the air. In the UV-TiO2 applications, a maximum 80% of sigma(12) PAH removal was obtained by adding 0.5% TiO2 of dry weight of sludge. The quantity of PAH penetrating into air did not exceed 15%. UV-TiO2 applications ensured high levels of PAH removal in the sludge and also reduced the quantity of PAH penetrating into the air. Within the scope of the samples added with DEA, there was no increase in PAH removal efficiencies and the penetration of PAHs into air was not decreased. In light of these data, it was concluded that UV-TiO2 application is the most suitable PAH removal alternative that restricts the convection of PAH pollution.