Improvement of biodegradability of industrial wastewaters by radiation treatment

H. J. Jo, S. M. Lee, H. J. Kim, J. G. Kim, J. S. Choi, Y. K. Park, J. Jung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


In order to evaluate the use of gamma-ray treatment as a pretreatment to conventional biological methods, the effects of gamma-irradiation on biodegradability (BOD5/COD) of textile and pulp wastewaters were investigated. For all wastewaters studied in this work, the efficiency of treatment based on TOC removal was insignificant even at an absorbed dose of 20 kGy. However, the change of biodegradability was noticeable and largely dependent on the chemical property of wastewaters and the absorbed dose of gamma-rays. For textile wastewaters, gamma-ray treatment increased the biodegradability of desizing effluents due to degradation of polymeric sizing agents such as polyvinyl alcohol. Interestingly, the weight-loss showed the highest value of 0.97 at a relatively low dose of 1 kGy. This may be caused by the degradation of less biodegradable ethylene glycol prior to terephthalic acid decomposition. For pulp wastewater, the gamma-ray treatment did not improve the biodegradability of cooking and bleaching of C/D effluents. However, the biodegradability of bleaching E1 and final effluents was abruptly increased up to 5 kGy then slowly decreased as the absorbed dose was increased. The initial increase of biodegradability may be induced by the decomposition of refractory organic compounds such as chlorophenols, which are known to be the main components of bleaching C/D and final effluents.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)145-150
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 2006


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