Sewage derived sludge is produced with an annual amount increase of 2% all over the world and it is an urgent issue to be addressed by human being. In the present study, sludge was converted into sludge-based catalyst (SBC) with ZnCl2 as activation agent and characterized by several methods (e.g., scanning electron microscope, X-ray photoelectron spectroscope and Fourier transform infrared spectroscope). Then it was used as a catalyst to enhance the removal of refractory organic matter, oxalic acid, and to control the formation of bromate (BrO3-) in bench semi-continuous ozonation experiments. The effects of various operating parameters on the control of BrO3- formation were investigated. Furthermore, the mechanism for the enhancement of organic matter removal and the control of BrO3- formation was discussed as well. Results indicate that the combination of SBC with ozone shows a strong synergistic effect, resulting in a notable improvement on oxalic acid removal. A crucial surface reaction mechanism for the enhancement of organic matter removal is proposed on the basis of negative effect of higher pH and no inhibition effect of tert-butanol. The control for BrO3- formation was demonstrated and the reason for its control in the process of O3/SBC is the combined effect of SBC reductive properties, ozone exposure decrease and hydrogen peroxide concentration increase.
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