Use of oxidation to reduce algal growth within drinking water treatment plants

2020-2024

PhD project to develop a comprehensive kinetic model that describes oxidation of harmful algae and their toxins. This project will investigate oxidant decay, algal inactivation, algal cell lysis, organic matter degradation, and cyanotoxin and taste/odour treatment using several oxidants under different reaction conditions.

Elevated toxin and taste/odour concentrations in source water are a major concern for the water industry. Various chemical oxidants have been used to improve water treatment efficiency during algal events. It is important to develop a better understanding of the chemical competition between algal cells, their metabolites and extracellular organic matter for oxidants in order to develop a comprehensive kinetic model of oxidation.

Focused Research Questions:

1. Which oxidants are the most effective at treating common cyanotoxins?
2. How does the presence of toxic algal cells (of different species) influence oxidation kinetics?
3. What is the relationship between cell lysis and inactivation during oxidation?
4. How does the presence of extracellular organic matter, released by cell lysis, influence oxidation kinetics?

Researchers:

Daisy Chu
Rita Henderson
Naras Rao
Bojan Tamburic

Partners:

University of New South Wales | Melbourne Water

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