Although Membrane Distillation (MD) has been extensively studied for desalination, it has other applications like removing all kinds of solutes from water and concentrating non-volatile substances. MD offers the possibility of producing a clean stream while concentrating valuable compounds from waste streams towards their recovery, or emerging contaminants and pathogens present in wastewater in order to facilitate their chemical elimination. This paper analyses the elimination of bacterial spores from contaminated water with MD and the role of MD in the subsequent treatment of the concentrate with photo-Fenton process. The experiments were performed at Plataforma Solar de Almería (PSA) using a plate and frame bench module with a Permeate Gap Membrane Dis- tillation (PGMD) configuration. Tests were done for two different kinds of spores in two different water matrixes: distilled water with 3.5 wt% of sea salts contaminated with spores of Bacillus subtilis (B. subtilis) and wastewater after a secondary treatment and still contaminated with Clostridium sp. spores. An analysis of the permeate was performed in all cases to determine its purity, as well as the concentrated stream and its further treatment in order to assess the benefits of using MD. Results showed a permeate free of spores in all the cases, demonstrating the viability of MD to treat biological contaminated wastewater for further use in agriculture. Moreover, the re- sults obtained after treating the concentrate with photo-Fenton showed a shorter treatment time for the reduc- tion of the spore concentration in the water than that when only photo-Fenton was used.
- Membrane distillation
- Advanced wastewater treatment Disinfection
- Solar photo-Fenton
- B. subtitles spores
- Clostridium sp. spores