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Research Presentation

Marisa Punzi

Topic: Treatment of textile wastewater by combination of biological treatments and advanced oxidation processes

 The focus of my research is the treatment of textile wastewater and the degradation of azo dyes. The presence of azo dyes in water basins causes reduction of the photosynthesis rate and thus it represents a hazard for the aquatic life.  Moreover, azo dyes are reduced under natural conditions releasing even more hazardous molecules, aromatic amines. Some of these dyes and aromatic amines have been classified as carcinogenic and banned from use, but the toxicity of most of them is still under study.

In my work different potential treatments are examined, from biological to physical and chemical treatments. In particular, I am investigating the possibility of combining biological treatments with the so called Advanced Oxidation Processes (AOPs): ozonation, photo-Fenton and photo-catalysis. These AOPs are based on the oxidative power of hydroxyl radicals generated in situ and are thus very effective in degrading recalcitrant organic compounds, but very costly too. We want to reduce the costs by reducing their requirements for energy and reagents, and we do that by applying the chosen AOP after the biological treatment, an anaerobic biofilm reactor in our case.




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