Advanced wastewater treatment is necessary to effectively remove emerging contaminants (ECs) with chronic toxicity, endocrine disrupting effects, and the capability to induce the proliferation of highly resistant microbial strains in the environment from before wastewater disposal or reuse. This paper investigates the efficiency of a novel hybrid process that applies membrane ultrafiltration, activated carbon adsorption, and ultrasound irradiation simultaneously to remove ECs. Diclofenac, carbamazepine, and amoxicillin are chosen for this investigation because of their assessed significant environmental risks. Removal mechanisms and enhancement effects are analysed in single and combined processes. The influence of adsorbent dose and ultrasonic frequency to EC removal are also investigated. Results suggest that adsorption is probably the main removal mechanism and is affected by the nature of ECs and the presence of other components in the mixture. Almost complete removals are achieved in the hybrid process for all ECs. (C) 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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