Advanced oxidation process (AOP) technologies combine two or more oxidizing chemistries to generate hydroxyl radicals. Equipment providers offering AOP solutions combine either UV + O3 or O3 + H2O2 or UV + H2O2 or all three (UV + O3 + H2O2), depending on the application. Ultimately, the hydroxyl radicals created by these combinations can eliminate organic pollutants, often found in hard-to-treat wastewaters in industry (5,000 mg/L to 50,000 mg/L). While each technology has its merits and drawbacks, they all tend to be expensive for the low-level organic concentrations (low COD) generally found in municipal wastewater or drinking water. For such applications, the industry needs a cost-effective and tunable process to eliminate micropollutants and endocrine-disrupting chemicals found in pharmaceutical and personal care products (PPCPs).
Between March 2016 and March 2017, U.K. startup Arvia Technology piloted its organics destruction electrochemical cell in conjunction with Anglian Water at a wastewater treatment plant, treating 16,000 PE (population equivalent) to test the removal of a range of micropollutants, including emerging contaminants. This project was part of UK Water Industry Research's (UKWIR's) Chemicals Investigation Programme (CIP).