Author(s): Lefebvre O, Moletta R
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Abstract Many industrial sectors are likely to generate highly saline wastewater: these include the agro-food, petroleum and leather industries. The discharge of such wastewater containing at the same time high salinity and high organic content without prior treatment is known to adversely affect the aquatic life, water potability and agriculture. Thus, legislation is becoming more stringent and the treatment of saline wastewater, both for organic matter and salt removal, is nowadays compulsory in many countries. Saline effluents are conventionally treated through physico-chemical means, as biological treatment is strongly inhibited by salts (mainly NaCl). However, the costs of physico-chemical treatments being particularly high, alternative systems for the treatment of organic matter are nowadays increasingly the focus of research. Most of such systems involve anaerobic or aerobic biological treatment. Even though biological treatment of carbonaceous, nitrogenous and phosphorous pollution has proved to be feasible at high salt concentrations, the performance obtained depends on a proper adaptation of the biomass or the use of halophilic organisms. Another major limit is related to the turbidity problems inherent in saline effluents. For this reason, the major need for research in the future will be the combination of physico-chemical/biological treatment of saline industrial effluents, with regard to the global treatment chain, in order to meet the regulations.
This article was published in Water Res
and referenced in Journal of Civil & Environmental Engineering