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  5. Detection and Analysis of VOCs in Wastewater

Virtually any chemical may be found in Wastewater.

Wastewater is any water that has been adversely affected in quality by anthropogenic influence. Wastewater can originate from a combination of domestic, industrial, commercial or agricultural activities, surface runoff or stormwater, and from sewer inflow or infiltration.

Sewage is a type of wastewater that comprises domestic wastewater and is therefore contaminated with feces or urine from people’s toilets, but the term sewage is also used to mean any type of wastewater.

Sewerage is the physical infrastructure, including pipes, pumps, screens, channels etc. used to convey sewage from its origin to the point of eventual treatment or disposal.

Wastewater can come from various things such as human excreta (feces and urine), washing water (clothes, floors, dishes, cars, etc.), surplus manufactured liquids from domestic sources (drinks, cooking oil, pesticides, lubricating oil, paint, cleaning liquids, etc.), urban rainfall runoff from roads, carparks, roofs, sidewalks/pavements, highway drainage, storm drains (may include trash), manmade liquids (illegal disposal of pesticides, used oils, etc.), industrial waste, industrial site drainage and many others.

Wastewater constitutes of pathogens such as bacteria, viruses, prions and parasitic worms, organic particles such as feces, hairs, food, vomit, paper fibers, plant material, humus, gases such as hydrogen sulfide, carbon dioxide, methane, pharmaceuticals and other hazardous substances which act as Volatile Organic Compounds(VOCs) present in Wastewater.

The discharge of effluents from wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) has major detrimental effects on the health of aquatic ecosystems. For more details, please visit: http://www.pollutionissues.com/Ve-Z/Wastewater-Treatment.html

There are numerous processes that can be used to clean up wastewaters depending on the type and extent of contamination. Wastewater can be treated in wastewater treatment plants. Municipal wastewater is treated in sewage treatment plants. Agricultural wastewater may be treated in agricultural wastewater treatment processes, whereas industrial wastewater is treated in industrial wastewater treatment processes.

For municipal wastewater the use of septic tanks and other On-Site Sewage Facilities (OSSF) is widespread in some rural areas, for example serving up to 20 percent of the homes in the U.S.

One type of aerobic treatment system is the activated sludge process, based on the maintenance and recirculation of a complex biomass composed of micro-organisms able to absorb the organic matter carried in wastewater. Anaerobic wastewater treatment processes (UASB, EGSB) are also widely applied in the treatment of industrial wastewaters and biological sludge. Some wastewater may be highly treated and reused as reclaimed water. Constructed wetlands are also being used for this purpose.

To know more about VOCs present in water or food, please visit our life science and biotech solutions page: https://www.estcal.com/resource/detection-2-methylisoborneol-and-geosmin-pond-water-using-znoser

An electronic nose for on-site measurement of volatile organic compounds in water called zNose® has been described. Based upon ultra-fast gas chromatography, measurements of volatile organic vapors and their water concentrations in the low part-per-billion range can be achieved on-site. Separation and quantification of the individual chemicals are performed in seconds.

Using a solid-state mass sensitive detector, picogram sensitivity, universal non-polar selectivity, and electronically variable sensitivity has been achieved. An integrated vapor concentrator coupled with the electronically variable detector, allow the instrument to measure VOC concentrations spanning 6+ orders of magnitude.


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