Removal of microorganisms and proteins from sewage and industrial waste with chlorinated solvents
Very few sewage and industrial waste treatment effluents are free from microorganisms and proteins. Such discharges require further treatment by the receiving stream and consequently lower stream quality. The object of this investigation was to evaluate chlorinated solvent processes for the removal of microorganisms, proteins, and other substances from sewage and other wastes.
Six different chlorinated solvents were added to different waste samples in the ratio (by volume) of five percent solvent and 95 percent waste, mixed and allowed to settle for a specified period of time. The efficiency of the solvent extraction process was evaluated in terms of reduction of suspended solids, biochemical oxygen demand, and by increased weight of residue separable by sedimentation. The results showed that the process produced the following effects on settled sewage. Suspended solids were reduced by 85 percent, the weight of residue separable by sedimentation was increased 33 percent, and the biochemical oxygen demand was reduced 49 percent.
The process was less effective for the treatment of raw sewage, trickling filter effluent, sewage lagoon effluent, or for separation of activated sludge.
The variables investigated were temperature, pH and the solvent waste system. Temperature and pH appeared to have negligible effects on the extraction efficiency. The solvents employed were; chloroform, ethylene dichloride, chlorobenzene, carbon tetrachloride, trichloroethane, and dichloroisopropyl ether. Solvents with low vapor pressures and wastes with low concentrations of suspended solids appeared to be the most efficient system. The addition of 20 percent of butanol (by weight) to trichloroethane appeared to increase the extraction efficiency of trichloroethane. Bacterial counts made indicated that the solvent extraction process was affecting better than 90 percent removal of microorganisms from the waste samples. More research will be needed to completely evaluate chlorinated solvent processes for the removal of microorganisms, proteins, and other substances from sewage and other wastes.