My publications


Vitor J.P Vilar, Pello Alfonso Muniozguren, Joana P. Montiero, Judy Lee, Sandra M. Miranda, Rui A.R Boaventura (2019)Tube-in-tube membrane microreactor for photochemical UVC/H2O2 processes: A proof of concept, In: Chemical Engineering Journal Elsevier

This work proposes a disruptive tube-in-tube membrane microreactor for the intensification of photochemical UVC/H2O2 processes, towards contaminants of emerging concern (CECs) removal from urban wastewaters. The main novelty of this system relies on the radial addition of H2O2 through the porous membrane into the annular reaction zone, providing a more homogeneous distribution of the injected chemical across the whole reactor length. The proposed novel reactor consists of a ceramic ultrafiltration membrane inner tubing and a concentric quartz outer tubing that compose the annulus of the reactor (path length of 3.85 mm). The ultrafiltration membrane is used as a dosing system to deliver small amounts of H2O2 into the annulus of the reactor. In the annulus, where a 2 mg/L of oxytetracycline (OTC) solution flows, UVC light is provided via four mercury lamps located externally to the outer tube. The helical motion of OTC solution around the membrane shell-side enhances H2O2 radial mixing. The efficiency of the photochemical UVC/H2O2 process was evaluated as a function of the OTC flowrate, H2O2 dose, H2O2 dosage method and water matrix. OTC removal efficiencies of ~36% and ~7% were obtained for a synthetic OTC solution and an urban wastewater fortified with the same OTC concentration, using a H2O2 dose of 15.8 mg/L. Besides providing a good performance using low UVC fluence (34 mJ/cm2) and reactor residence time (4.6 s), the reactor has the advantage of an easy upscaling into a real plant by integrating multiple parallel membranes into a single shell.

Pello Alfonso-Muniozguren, Salvador Cotillas, Rui A.R. Boaventura, Francisca C. Moreira, Judy Lee, Vítor J.P. Vilar (2020)Single and combined electrochemical oxidation driven processes for the treatment of slaughterhouse wastewater, In: Journal of Cleaner Production270121858 Elsevier

Electrochemical oxidation (EO) and EO related processes, either alone or in combination with pre-ozonation, were investigated as a polishing step for slaughterhouse wastewater treatment. The wastewater had previously been subjected to grit removal, degreasing, biological treatment and settling, but failed to comply with European emission limits for treated urban wastewaters in regards to organic compounds, suspended solids and colour. Besides EO alone, the following processes were applied: EO with hydrogen peroxide (EO/H₂O₂), EO with ultraviolet C light (EO/UVC) and EO with ultraviolet C light and hydrogen peroxide (EO/UVC/H₂O₂). Without pre-ozonation, electrochemical processes could be arranged in the following order according to their ability to mineralisation and colour removal: EO ˂ EO/H₂O₂ ˂ EO/UVC ˂ EO/UVC/H₂O₂. To reach a colour of 25 mg Pt-Co/L, it took more than 480 min for EO, ῀400 min for EO/H₂O₂, ῀260 min for EO/UVC and ῀120 min for EO/UVC/H₂O₂. At this treatment time, chemical oxygen demand and suspended solids were below the European emission limit values. The pre-ozonation step improved organics removal by EO and all related processes by converting the original organic compounds into easily oxidisable compounds. Beyond that, ozonation itself led to suspended solids and colour abatement to values in agreement with the legislated/permissible discharge limits.

Pello Alfonso Muniozguren, Mohd Hazzwan Bohari, Anita Sicilia, Claudio Avignone Rossa, Madeleine Bussemaker, Devendra Saroj, Judy Lee (2020)Tertiary Treatment of Real Abattoir Wastewater using Combined Acoustic Cavitation and Ozonation, In: Ultrasonics Sonochemistry64104986 Elsevier

This work reports the influence of ultrasound alone and combined with ozone for the treatment of real abattoir wastewater. Three different frequencies were studied (44, 300 and 1000 kHz) at an applied power of 40 W. The injected ozone dose was fixed at 71 mg/L and the treatment time varied from 1 to 60 min. Using ultrasound alone, 300 kHz was the only frequency showing a reduction in chemical oxygen demand (COD, 18% reduction) and biological oxygen demand (BOD, 50% reduction), while no diminution in microbial content was measured for any of the frequencies studied. Combining ultrasound with ozone, on the contrary, led to a significant decrease in COD (44%) and BOD (78%) removal for the three frequencies under study. A complete inactivation of total coliforms (TC) was obtained, as well as a final value of 99 CFU/mL in total viable counts (TVC, 5 log reduction). That is, the ozonation-sonication combined system was the only treatment method (compared to sonication and ozonation alone) reaching direct discharge limits, as well as meeting drinking water standards for microbial disinfection (TC and TVC).

PELLO ALFONSO MUNIOZGUREN, A Gomes, DEVENDRA PRAKASH SAROJ, Vítor J.P. Vilar, Judy Lee (2021)The role of ozone combined with UVC/H2O2 process for the tertiary treatment of a real slaughterhouse wastewater, In: Journal of Environmental Management289112480 Elsevier Ltd

The main goal of this work is to evaluate the usage of ozone (O3) as a pre-treatment or simultaneously combined with UVC/H2O2 process for the polishing stage treatment of real bio-treated slaughterhouse wastewater. Two different treatment strategies were tested: i) pre-ozonation of the wastewater followed by an UVC/H2O2 process (two-step treatment); ii) simultaneous application of O3/UVC/H2O2 combined process (one-step treatment). For the two-step strategy, the pre-treatment with 30 mg O3/min for 10 min reduces significantly total suspended solids (TSS), turbidity and colour, reducing light filtering effects and increasing the efficiency of the following UVC/H2O2 process. In turn, the one-step treatment strategy (O3/UVC/H2O2) allows a more efficient use of injected O3 by reducing the amount of O3 required (from 273 to 189 mg O3/Leffluent) to achieve similar mineralization levels. The real bio-treated slaughterhouse wastewater treated by O3/UVC/H2O2 process achieved final colour values of 20 Pt/Co, TSS of 35 mg/L and COD of 61 mg O2/L, allowing its direct discharge into water compartments according to European Council Directive 91/271/EEC.

Pello Alfonso-Muniozguren, Cristian Ferreiro, Elodie Richard, Madeleine Bussemaker, José Ignacio Lombraña, Judy Lee (2021)Analysis of Ultrasonic Pre-treatment for the Ozonation of Humic Acids, In: Ultrasonics sonochemistry71105359 Elsevier B.V

This paper presents an intensification study of an ozonation process through an ultrasonic pre-treatment for the elimination of humic substances in water and thus, improve the quality of water treatment systems for human consumption. Humic acids were used as representative of natural organic matter in real waters which present low biodegradability and a high potential for trihalomethane formation. Ultrasonic frequency (98 kHz, 300 kHz and 1 MHz), power (10-40 W) and sonicated volume (150-400 mL) was varied to assess the efficiency of the ultrasonic pre-treatment in the subsequent ozonation process. A direct link between OH radical (●OH) formation and fluorescence reduction was observed during sonication pre-treatment, peaking at 300 kHz and maximum power density. Ultrasound, however, did not reduce total organic carbon (TOC). Injected O3 dose and reaction time were also evaluated during the ozonation treatment. With 300 kHz and 40 W ultrasonic pre-treatment and the subsequent ozonation step (7.4 mg O3/Lgas), TOC was reduced from 21 mg/L to 13.5 mg/L (36% reduction). ●OH attack seems to be the main degradation mechanism during ozonation. A strong reduction in colour (85%) and SUVA254 (70%) was also measured. Moreover, changes in the chemical structure of the macromolecule were observed that led to the formation of oxidation by-products of lower molecular weight

Pello Alfonso-Muniozguren, Judy Lee, Madeleine Bussemaker, Ralph Chadeesingh, Caryn Jones, David Oakley, Devendra Saroj (2018)A combined activated sludge-filtration-ozonation process for abattoir wastewater treatment, In: Journal of Water Process Engineering25pp. 157-163 Elsevier

Current industrial livestock production has one of the highest consumptions of water, producing up to ten times more polluted (biological oxygen demand, BOD) wastewaters compared to domestic sewage. Additionally, livestock production grows yearly leading to an increase in the generation of wastewater that varies considerably in terms of organic content and microbial population. Therefore, suitable wastewater treatment methods are required to ensure the wastewater quality meets EU regulations before discharge. In the present study, a combined lab scale activated sludge-filtration-ozonation system was used to treat a pre-treated abattoir wastewater. A 24-h hydraulic retention time and a 13-day solid retention time were used for the activated sludge process, followed by filtration (4–7 μm) and using ozone as tertiary treatment. Average reductions of 93% and 98% were achieved for chemical oxygen demand (COD) and BOD, respectively, obtaining final values of 128 mg/L COD and 12 mg/L BOD. The total suspended solids (TSS) average reduction reached 99% in the same system, reducing the final value down to 3 mg/L. Furthermore, 98% reduction in phosphorus (P) and a complete inactivation of total coliforms (TC) was obtained after 17 min of ozonation. For total viable counts (TVC), a drastic reduction was observed after 30 min of ozonation (6 log inactivation) at an injected ozone dose of 71 mg/L. The reduction percentages reported in this study are higher than those previously reported in the literature. Overall, the combined process was sufficient to meet discharge requirements without further treatment for the measured parameters (COD, BOD, TSS, P, TC and TVC).