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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 publication




Journal article


Water Res

Publication Date





214 - 221


Biological treatment, COD, Electron beam irradiation, Metalworking fluid, Wastewater treatment, Zero-valent nano iron, Bacteria, Biodegradation, Environmental, Bioreactors, Electrons, Industrial Waste, Iron, Metallurgy, Microscopy, Electron, Scanning, Nanostructures, Oxidation-Reduction, Reproducibility of Results, Time Factors, Waste Disposal, Fluid, Water Purification