ABSTRACT: This paper describes a preliminary evaluation of the performance of carbonaceous materials prepared from sewage sludges (SBCMs) in a hybrid water treatment process based on adsorption and catalytic wet air oxidation; phenol was used as the model pollutant. Three different sewage sludges were treated by either carbonisation or steam activation, and the physico-chemical properties of the resultant carbonaceous materials (e.g. hardness, BET surface area, ash and elemental content, surface chemistry) were evaluated and compared with a commercial reference activated carbon (PICA F22). The adsorption capacity for phenol of the SBCMs was greater than suggested by their BET surface area, but less than F22; a steam activated, dewatered raw sludge (SA_DRAW) had the greatest adsorption capacity of the SBCMs in the investigated range of concentrations (<0.05 mol L(-1)). In batch oxidation tests, the SBCMs demonstrated catalytic behaviour arising from their substrate adsorptivity and metal content. Recycling of SA_DRAW in successive oxidations led to significant structural attrition and a hardened SA_DRAW was evaluated, but found to be unsatisfactory during the oxidation step. In a combined adsorption-oxidation sequence, both the PICA carbon and a selected SBCM showed deterioration in phenol adsorption after oxidative regeneration, but a steady state performance was reached after 2 or 3 cycles.
Journal of Environmental Management 12/2010; 91(12):2432-9. · 3.24 Impact Factor