Revista internacional de contaminación ambiental
Print version ISSN 0188-4999
MENDEZ NOVELO, Roger Iván et al. Comparison of four physicochemical treatments for leachate treatment. Rev. Int. Contam. Ambient [online]. 2009, vol.25, n.3, pp. 133-145. ISSN 0188-4999.
Results from four physicochemical treatments applied to the leachate of a sanitary landfill of Mérida, México, are presented: coagulation-flocculation, flotation, adsorption and Fenton oxidation. Coagulation-flocculation and flotation processes consist on the removal of suspended particles by means of the addition of chemical substances (coagulants). Both processes were not efficient since the leachates treated had low suspended solids content. No successful applications of these treatments were found in literature since leachates from other landfills also have low suspended solids content, which explains the low efficiency of these treatments. In the leachates studied, most sizes of the suspended particles ranged from 0 to 75 µm, with an average of 23 µm, which correspond to color producing colloidal particles. Removal of these particles is carried out at low pH. For this reason, the best results obtained were 40 % at pH < 2 for the coagulation-flocculation process, and 37 % at pH 2 for the flotation process. Adsorption process can eliminate both suspended and dissolved solids; therefore, better removal rates can be obtained with adsorption than with coagulation-flocculation and flotation processes. Nevertheless, adsorption is expensive due to the regeneration of activated carbon. In the adsorption trial, chemical oxygen demand (COD) removal efficiency decreased from 60 to 30 % during the first 80 hours when retention time was 8 hours, and during the first 60 hours when retention time was 4 hours. In the oxidation process the contaminants are treated with a combination of hydrogen peroxide and ferrous sulfate (Fenton's reagent), typically at atmospheric pressure and at temperature ranging between 20 to 40 °C. Optimal conditions for Fenton's reagent are obtained at acid pH and high removals of organic pollutants can be obtained. Optimal conditions and doses for the oxidation process were: contact time 20 minutes, pH 4, H2O2 concentration of 600 mg/L and Fe2+ concentration of 1000 mg/L. Best removals reached were 78 % for COD and 87 % for total organic carbon (TOC), therefore, Fenton's oxidation process was the most efficient among all the processes tested in this study.
Keywords : fenton; adsorption; flotation; coagulation-flocculation; leachate treatment; particle size; landfill; municipal solid waste disposal.