Hybrid biological, electron beam and zero-valent nano iron treatment of recalcitrant metalworking fluids

Patrick G Thill, Thomas B Scott, Duane K Ager, Borivoj Vojnovic, Sarah J Tesh, Ian P Thompson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review


Hybrid approaches for the remediation and detoxification of toxic recalcitrant industrial wastewater were investigated. The focus was waste metalworking fluid, which was selected as a representative model of other waste streams that are toxic, recalcitrant and that require more sustainable routes of safe disposal. The hybrid approaches included biodegradation, electron beam irradiation and zero-valent nano iron advanced oxidation processes that were employed individually and in sequence employing a factorial design. To compare process performance operationally exhausted and pristine metalworking fluid were compared. Sequential hybrid electron beam irradiation, biological, nanoscale zero-valent iron and biological treatment lead to synergistic detoxification and degradation of both recalcitrant streams, as determined by complementary surrogates and lead to overall improved COD removal of 92.8 ± 1.4% up from 85.9 ± 3.4% for the pristine metalworking fluid. Electron beam pre-treatment enabled more effective biotreatment, achieving 69.5 ± 8% (p = 0.005) and 24.6 ± 4.8% (p = 0.044) COD reductions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)214-221
Number of pages8
JournalWater Research
Early online date16 Feb 2016
Publication statusPublished - 15 Apr 2016


  • Wastewater treatment; Biological treatment; Electron beam irradiation; Zero-valent nano iron; Metalworking fluid; COD

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