Analytic and Process Classification of Effluents

by T. Helfgott, Asst. Prof. of Envir. Engrg.; Civ. Engrg. Dept., Univ. of Conn., Storrs, CT,
J. V. Hunter, Assoc. Prof.; Dept. of Envir. Sci., Rutgers—The State Univ., New Brunswick, NJ,
D. Rickert, Chemist; Water Resour. Div., U.S. Geological Survey, Washington, DC,

Serial Information: Journal of the Sanitary Engineering Division, 1970, Vol. 96, Issue 3, Pg. 779-803

Document Type: Journal Paper


The residual organics in effluents are classified using analytic and process techniques for component identification. There are residual organics in biologically treated effluents that are either refractory or are produced by biological treatment. There is a residual class of organics not removed by activated carbon. This is confirmed in three ways: (1) by considering the chemical composition of effluents and how these organic components physically interact under process techniques; (2) by extrapolating adsorption isotherm to an ultimate residual organic concentration at an infinite activated carbon dose; and (3) by an electrokinetic fractionation that concentrates ionized organics. These residual organics of activated carbon treatment appear to be electropositive (cationic) of high isoelectric value as determined by gravitational electrodialysis fractionation. The sizes are roughly between 10 A to 100 A (pL 9-8) and 0.1 μ (pL 6); pL being defined as the negative log of the particle size in meters. It is hypothesized that this residual class of organics contain nitrogeneous groups that are the degradation products of bacterial cell walls.

Subject Headings: Biological processes | Activated carbon | Effluents | Adsorption | Electrokinetics | Carbon compounds | Particle size distribution | Nitrogen

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