The continuous ozonation of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) was studied in a two stage ozonation system followed by aerobic biological degradation. The highly condensed PAH benzo(e)pyrene and benzo(k)fluoranthene were oxidized selectively in synthetic oil/water-emulsions. The influence of the ozone mass transfer gas-liquid on the reaction rate of benzo(k)fluoranthene was studied for process optimization. The dissolved ozone concentration is influenced by temperature to a higher degree than the reaction rate of PAH. In dependence on pH, PAH oxidation occurs by a direct reaction with ozone inside the oil droplets. Two main ozonation products of benzo(e)pyrene were quantified at different retention times during ozonation and their transformation could be shown in the biological treatment step.
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