Biological treatment of landfill leachate is challenging due to the presence of complex compounds. Here, we treated an old landfill leachate using a membrane bioreactor under the following conditions: 24 h for hydraulic retention, 65 days of sludge retention and an average organic load rate of 1.71 ± 0.16 g/L/day. We observed a high removal of ammonia, phosphorous and some metals. However, removal of organic carbon was incomplete. Despite a major removal of suspended solids, hydrophobic and volatile hydrophilic compounds, high concentration of fulvic acid and hydrophilic contaminants was found in the effluent. Overally, we demonstrate that the presence of humic substances in the effluent is associated with the detection of arsenic, copper and chromium and di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate.
Environmental Chemistry Letters – Springer Journals
Published: Nov 29, 2016
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