ABSTRACT Purification of water contaminated by toxic organic compounds at low and very low concentration is a quite interesting challenge from both the technical and the economical point of view. In fact, the direct destruction of organic compounds dissolved in very diluted aqueous solution is very costly and hardly achievable. To overcome this problems it was studied and developed a new water purification process which is made of three steps: a) removal of the diluted and toxic polluting compounds by adsorption on activated carbon beds operating at ambient P ant T; b) regeneration of the exhausted carbon bed with supercritical water in order to obtain a mixture of water and polluting compounds signifi-cantly more concentrated than the contaminated liquid water; c) destruction of the toxic compounds in a continuous Supercritical Water Oxidation Reactor. Step a) was studied at laboratory scale in order to obtain all the required information for modeling the adsorption operation; step b) was modeled by using literature experimental data and, step c) was validated at pilot plant scale. In all the above mentioned steps, phenol was used as representative of polluting compounds.
Cite this paper
G. Giacomo and L. Taglieri, "Supercritical Water Technology Applied to the Purification of Waters Contaminated by Toxic Micro-Polluting Organic Compounds," Journal of Water Resource and Protection, Vol. 4 No. 7, 2012, pp. 460-463. doi: 10.4236/jwarp.2012.47053.
 G. Di Giacomo, L. Spera, L. Taglieri and G. Sambenedetto, “Solid-Liquid Equilibrium for the System Activated Carbon and Aqueous Solution of Both Phenol and Dinitro-o-Cresol,” Chemical Engineering Transactions, Vol. 11, 2007, pp. 617-622.
 G. Di Giacomo and L. Taglieri, “Experimental and Calculated Breakthrough Behavior in Water Purification by Fixed Bed Activated Carbon,” Desalination and Water Treatment, Vol. 30, No. 1-3, 2011, pp. 17-21.
 F. Salvador, C. Sànchez, R. Cubero, J. Sànchez and A. Salvador, “Supercritical Water Technology Applied to the Regeneration of Activated Carbon,” Proceeding of 4th International Symposium on High Pressure Process Technology and Chemical Engineering “High Pressure in Venice”, Venezia, 22-25 September 2002.
 G. Mancini, “Ossidazione in Acqua Supercritica (SCWO) di Micro Inquinanti Organici,” Degree Thesis, L’Aquila University, L’Aquila, 2002.
 K. C. Chang and E. F. Gloina, “Supercritical Water Oxidation of Acetic Acid by Potassium Permanganate,” Journal of Hazardous Materials, Vol. 33, No. 1, 1993, pp. 51-62. doi:10.1016/0304-3894(93)85063-K
 P. E. Savage and M. A. Smith, “Kinetics of Acetic Acid Oxidation in Supercritical Water,” Environmental Science & Technology, Vol. 29, No. 1, 1995, pp. 216-221.
 T. D. Thornton and P. E. Savage, “Kinetics of Phenol Oxidation in Supercritical Water,” AIChE Journal, Vol. 38, No. 3, 1992, pp. 321-327.
 F. Jimenez-Espadafor, J. R. Portela, V. Vadillo, J. Sanchez-Oneta, J. A. B. Villanueva, M. T. Garcia and E. Mart?nez de la Ossa, “Supercritical Water Oxidation of Oily Wastes at Pilot Plant: Simulation for Energy Recovery,” Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research, Vol. 50, 2011, pp. 775-784. doi:10.1021/ie101166j
 A. Fourcault, B. García-Jarana, J. Sánchez-Oneto, F. Marias and J. R. Portela, “Supercritical Water Oxidation of Phenol with air. Experimental Results and Modelling,” Chemical Engineering Journal, Vol. 152, No. 1, 2009, pp. 227-233. doi:10.1016/j.cej.2009.04.029