Magnetic separation of soluble organic pollutants from water


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Water Resources Research Center, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University


This research studied the potential use of High Gradient Magnetic Separation (HGMS) for removing soluble organics in water and for treating composite wastewater from a food processing unit. The initial investigation was of soluble organic removal by a combined use of activated carbon adsorption and HGMS. Tests with known concentrations of soluble starch revealed that, although adsorption of the organic could be accomplished, the removal of activated carbon in the magnetic separator was inefficient. Only approximately 70 percent of the applied carbon could be removed from the water slurry by HGMS.

Magnetic separation then was used to treat composite wastewater samples collected from a food processing unit. Treatment effectiveness was evaluated by monitoring certain pollution-related parameters such as color plus turbidity, chemical oxygen demand, total phosphorus, and solids. In most cases, reductions in these parameters after magnetic treatment were noted. However, higher reduction rates would r:ieed to be achieved before the HGMS method becomes a viable alternative treatment method for food processing wastewater.