Wastewater samples from the secondary clarifier of two treatment plants were spiked in the microgram-to-tens-of-microgram per liter range with diuron (herbicide), ibuprofen and diclofenac (anti-inflammatory drugs), sulfamethoxazole and erythromycin (antibiotics), bezafibrate and gemfibrozil (lipid regulators), atenolol (β-blocker), carbamazepine (anti-epileptic), hydrochlorothiazide (diuretic), caffeine (stimulant) and N-acetyl-4-amino-antipiryne, a metabolite of the antipyretic drug dypirone. They were subsequently ozonated in continuous flow using 1.2L lab-scale bubble columns. The concentration of all spiking compounds was monitored in the outlet stream. The effects of varying ozone input, expressed as energy per unit volume, and water flow rate, and of using single or double column were studied in relation to the efficiency of ozone usage and the ratio of pollutant depletion. The ozone dosage required to treat both wastewaters with pollutant depletion of >90% was in the 5.5-8.5 mg/L range with ozone efficiencies greater than 80% depending on the type of wastewater and the operating conditions. This represented 100-200 mol of ozone transferred per mole of pollutant removed. Direct and indirect environmental impacts of ozonation were assessed according to Life Cycle Assessment, a technique that helped identify the most effective treatments in terms of potential toxicity reduction, as well as of toxicity reduction per unit mass of greenhouse-gas emissions, which were used as an indicator of environmental efficiency. A trade-off between environmental effectiveness (toxicity reduction) and greenhouse-gas emissions was observed since maximizing toxicity removal led to higher greenhouse-gas emissions, due to the latter's relatively high ozone requirements. Also, there is an environmental trade-off between effectiveness and efficiency. Our results indicate that an efficient use of ozone was not compatible with a full pollutant removal.

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