Removal of resin acids and sterols from pulp mill effluents by activated sludge treatment.


The wastewater treatment plant of an elemental chlorine free bleaching kraft pulp mill located in eastern Finland was sampled in order to study the fate of wood extractives and the toxicity to luminescence bacteria (Vibrio fischeri) in different parts of the plant. Resin acids and sterols were analyzed from water, particles and sludge samples during three different runs. Waters before biotreatment and primary sludge were found to be toxic; but in the activated sludge treatment toxicity was removed. During wastewater treatment, concentrations of wood extractives were reduced over 97%. In activated sludge treatment, over 94% of the resin acids and over 41% of the sterols were degraded or transformed to other compounds. Furthermore, in general, less than 5% of the resin acids and over 31% of the sterols were removed in biosludge to the sludge thickener. Most of the extractives were discharged attached to particles. Although some disturbing factors increased the load of wood extractives during samplings, these factors did not affect the operational efficiency of the secondary treatment system.

Cite this paper

@article{Kostamo2003RemovalOR, title={Removal of resin acids and sterols from pulp mill effluents by activated sludge treatment.}, author={Auli Kostamo and Jussi Vilho Kalevi Kukkonen}, journal={Water research}, year={2003}, volume={37 12}, pages={2813-20} }