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Remediation Technologies Screening Matrix, Version 4.0 4.44 Advanced Oxidation Processes
(Ex Situ GW Remediation Technology)
  Description Synonyms Applicability Limitations Site Information Points of Contact
Data Needs Performance Cost References Vendor Info. Health & Safety
Table of Contents
Technology>>Ground Water, Surface Water, and Leachate

>>3.12 Ex Situ Physical/Chemical Treatment (assuming pumping)

      >>4.44 Advanced Oxidation Processes
Introduction>> Advanced Oxidation Processes including ultraviolet (UV) radiation, ozone, and/or hydrogen peroxide are used to destroy organic contaminants as water flows into a treatment tank. If ozone is used as the oxidizer, an ozone destruction unit is used to treat collected off gases from the treatment tank and downstream units where ozone gas may collect, or escape.


Figure 4-44:
Typical UV/Oxidation Ground water Treatment System

UV oxidation is a destruction process that oxidizes organic and explosive constituents in wastewater by the addition of strong oxidizers and irradiation with UV light. Oxidation of target contaminants is caused by direct reaction with the oxidizers, UV photolysis, and through the synergistic action of UV light, in combination with ozone (O3) and/or hydrogen peroxide (H2O2). If complete mineralization is achieved, the final products of oxidation are carbon dioxide, water, and salts. The main advantage of UV oxidation is that it is a destruction process, as opposed to air stripping or carbon adsorption, for which contaminants are extracted and concentrated in a separate phase. UV oxidation processes can be configured in batch or continuous flow modes, depending on the throughput under consideration.

The UV oxidation process is general done with low pressure lamps operating at 65 watts of electricity for ozone systems and lamps operating at 15kW to 60kW for hydrogen peroxide systems.

UV Photolysis

UV photolysis is the process by which chemical bonds of the contaminants are broken under the influence of UV light. Products of photo-degradation vary according to the matrix in which the process occurs, but the complete conversion of an organic contaminant to CO2, H2O, etc. is not probable.

The duration of operation and maintenance of UV oxidation depends on influent water turbidity, contaminant and metal concentrations, existence of free radical scavengers, and the required maintenance intervals on UV reactors and quartz sleeves.

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DSERTS Code: F21 (UV Oxidation)

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Practically any organic contaminant that is reactive with the hydroxyl radical can potentially be treated. A wide variety of organic and explosive contaminants are susceptible to destruction by UV/oxidation, including petroleum hydrocarbons; chlorinated hydrocarbons used as industrial solvents and cleaners; and ordnance compounds such as TNT, RDX, and HMX. In many cases, chlorinated hydrocarbons that are resistant to biodegradation may be effectively treated by UV/oxidation. Typically, easily oxidized organic compounds, such as those with double bonds (e.g., TCE, PCE, and vinyl chloride), as well as simple aromatic compounds (e.g., toluene, benzene, xylene, and phenol), are rapidly destroyed in UV/oxidation processes.

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Limitations of UV/oxidation include:
  • The aqueous stream being treated must provide for good transmission of UV light (high turbidity causes interference). This factor can be more critical for UV/H2O2 than UV/O3 (Turbidity does not affect direct chemical oxidation of the contaminant by H2O2 or O3).
  • Free radical scavengers can inhibit contaminant destruction efficiency. Excessive dosages of chemical oxidizers may act as a scavenger.
  • The aqueous stream to be treated by UV/oxidation should be relatively free of heavy metal ions (less than 10 mg/L) and insoluble oil or grease to minimize the potential for fouling of the quartz sleeves.
  • When UV/O3 is used on volatile organics such as TCA, the contaminants may be volatilized (e.g., "stripped") rather than destroyed. They would then have to be removed from the off-gas by activated carbon adsorption or catalytic oxidation.
  • Costs may be higher than competing technologies because of energy requirements.
  • Pretreatment of the aqueous stream may be required to minimize ongoing cleaning and maintenance of UV reactor and quartz sleeves.
  • Handling and storage of oxidizers require special safety precautions.

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Data Needs:

A detailed discussion of these data elements is provided in Subsection 2.2.2 (Data Requirements for Ground Water, Surface Water, and Leachate).

Design and operational parameters include contact or retention time, influent water turbidity, metals and contaminant concentrations, existence of free radical scavengers, oxidizer influent dosages, pH, temperature, UV lamp intensity, and performance characteristics of catalysts.

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Performance Data:

The UV/oxidation is an innovative ground water treatment technology that has been used in full-scale ground water treatment application for more than 10 years. Currently, UV/oxidation processes are in operation in more than 15 full-scale remedial applications. A majority of these applications are for ground water contaminated with petroleum products or with a variety of industrial solvent-related organics such as TCE, DCE, TCA, and vinyl chloride.

A wide range of sizes of UV/oxidation systems are commercially available. Single-lamp benchtop reactors that can be operated in batch or continuous modes are available for the performance of treatability studies. Pilot and full-scale systems are available to handle higher throughput (e.g., 3,800 to 3,800,000 liters or 1,000 to 1,000,000 gallons per day).

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Costs generally are between $0.03 to $3.00 per 1,000 liters ($0.10 to $10.00 per 1,000 gallons). Factors that influence the cost to implementing UV/oxidation include:
  • Types and concentration of contaminants (as they affect oxidizer selection, oxidizer dosage, UV light intensity, and treatment time).
  • Degree of contaminant destruction required.
  • Desired water flow rates.
  • Requirements for pretreatment and/or post-treatment.

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Innovative Remediation Technologies:  Field Scale Demonstration Project in North America, 2nd Edition

Potential Applicability of Assembled Chemical Weapons Assessment Technologies to RCRA Waste Streams and Contaminated Media, August 2000, EPA 542-R-00-004

Abstracts of Remediation Case Studies, Volume 4,  June, 2000, EPA 542-R-00-006

Guide to Documenting and Managing Cost and Performance Information for Remediation Projects - Revised Version, October, 1998, EPA 542-B-98-007

Buhts, R., P. Malone, and D. Thompson, 1978. "Evaluation of Ultra-Violet/Ozone Treatment of Rocky Mountain Arsenal (RMA) Groundwater", USAE-WES Technical Report No. Y-78-1.

California Base Closure Environmental Committee (CBCEC), 1994. Treatment Technologies Applications Matrix for Base Closure Activities, Revision 1, Technology Matching Process Action Team, November, 1994.

Christman, P.L. and A.M. Collins, April 1990. "Treatment of Organic Contaminated Groundwater by Using Ultraviolet Light and Hydrogen Peroxide," in Proceedings of the Annual Army Environmental Symposium, USATHAMA Report CETHA-TE-TR-90055.

EPA, 1989. Ultrox International UV Ozone Treatment for Liquids, EPA RREL, series includes Technology Evaluation, EPA/540/5-89/012, PB90-198177; Applications Analysis, EPA/540/A5-89/012; Technology Demonstration Summary, EPA/540/S5-89/012; and Demonstration Bulletin, EPA/540/MS-89/012.

EPA, 1990. Innovative and Alternative Technology Assessment Manual, EPA, Office of Water Program Operations, EPA/430/9-78/009.

EPA, 1993. Magnum Water Technology CAV-OX Ultraviolet Oxidation Process, EPA RREL, Demonstration Bulletin, EPA/540/MR-93/520; and Applications Analysis, EPA/540/AR-93/520.

EPA, 1993. Perox-PureTM Chemical Oxidation Treatment, EPA RREL, series includes Demonstration Bulletin, EPA/540/MR-93/501; Applications Analysis, EPA/540/AR-93/501; Technology Evaluation, EPA/540/R-93/501, PB93-213528; and Technology Demonstration Summary, EPA/540/SR-93/501.

EPA, 1993. PURUS, Inc. Destruction of Organic Contaminants in Air Using Advanced Ultraviolet Flashlamps, EPA RREL, series includes Emerging Technology Bulletin, EPA/540/F-93/501; Emerging Technology Summary, EPA/540/SR-93/516; and Emerging Technology Report, EPA/540/R-93/516, PB93-205383.

EPA, 1995. Remediation Case Studies: Groundwater Treatment, Federal Remediation Technologies Roundtable, Report, EPA/542/R-95/003.

Federal Remediation Technologies Roundtable, 1998. Remediation Case Studies: Groundwater Pump and Treat (Nonchlorinated Solvents), EPA/542/R-98/014

Zappi, M.E., et al., April 1990. "Treatability Study of Four Contaminated Waters at Rocky Mountain Arsenal, Commerce City, Colorado, Using Oxidation with Ultra-Violet Radiation Catalyzation," in Proceedings of the 14th Annual Army Environmental Symposium, USATHAMA Report CETHA-TE-TR-90055.

Zappi, M.E. and B.C. Fleming, 1991. "Treatability of Contaminated Groundwater from the Lang Superfund Site", Draft WES Report, USAE-WES, Vicksburg, MS.

Zappi, M.E., B.C. Fleming, and M.J. Cullinane, 1992. "Treatment of Contaminated Groundwater Using Chemical Oxidation," in Proceedings of the 1992 ASCE Water Forum Conference, Baltimore, MD.

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Site Information:

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Points of Contact:

General FRTR Agency Contacts

Technology Specific Web Sites:

Government Web Sites

Non Government Web Sites

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Vendor Information:

A list of vendors offering Ex Situ Physical/Chemical Water Treatment is available from  EPA REACH IT which combines information from three established EPA databases, the Vendor Information System for Innovative Treatment Technologies (VISITT), the Vendor Field Analytical and Characterization Technologies System (Vendor FACTS), and the Innovative Treatment Technologies (ITT), to give users access to comprehensive information about treatment and characterization technologies and their applications.

Government Disclaimer

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Health and Safety:

Hazard Analysis

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