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Ultrasonics Sonochemistry 21 (2014) 590–598

Contents lists available at ScienceDirect Ultrasonics Sonochemistry journal homepage:

Hybrid reactor based on combined cavitation and ozonation: From concept to practical reality

P.R. Gogate a,⇑, S. Mededovic-Thagard b, D. McGuire c, G. Chapas c, J. Blackmon d,e, R. Cathey d

a Chem. Eng. Dept., Institute of Chemical Technology, Mumbai 400 019, India

b Chem. and Biomolecular. Eng. Dept., Clarkson University, Potsdam, NY 13699, USA c Ecosphere Technologies Inc., Stuart, FL 34997, USA

d Ecosphere Energy Services LLC, Conway, AR 72034, USA

e Electrical Eng. Dept., University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR 72701, USA

article info

Article history:

Received 13 December 2012

Received in revised form 24 August 2013 Accepted 25 August 2013

Available online 31 August 2013


Advanced oxidation Hydrodynamic cavitation Water treatment Ultrasound

Novel reactors Hybrid techniques

1. Introduction

Generally, water treatment takes place by various chemical and physical means [1,2], but the drawbacks of all these techniques outweigh their efficacy [3–5]. The chemical methods, involving the use of chlorine, hydrogen peroxide etc. are limited by severe mass transfer limitations resulting in lower disinfection rates. Also, some of the chemical methods produce non-acceptable residual components [6]. For example, chlorine, which is widely used in water treatments, results in the formation of mutagenic and carcinogenic agents in water and wastewater effluents. Also, chlorine dioxide, which is gaining popularity in the oil and gas business and other industries as an alternative to chlorine or ozone, suffers from disadvantages such as: requirement of onsite generation, stability issues and limited applicability especially in the case of microor- ganisms producing colonies and spores, which agglomerate in spherical or large clusters. Chemical treatment of such clusters

⇑ Corresponding author. Tel.: +91 22 33612024; fax: +91 22 33611020. E-mail address: (P.R. Gogate).

1350-4177/$ - see front matter Ó 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


The present work gives an in depth discussion related to the development of a hybrid advanced oxidation reactor, which can be effectively used for the treatment of various types of water. The reactor is based on the principle of intensifying degradation/disinfection using a combination of hydrodynamic cavitation, acoustic cavitation, ozone injection and electrochemical oxidation/precipitation. Theoretical studies have been presented to highlight the uniform distribution of the cavitational activity and enhanced generation of hydroxyl radicals in the cavitation zone, as well as higher turbulence in the main reactor zone. The combination of these different oxidation technologies have been shown to result in enhanced water treatment ability, which can be attributed to the enhanced generation of hydroxyl radicals, enhanced contact of ozone and contaminants, and the elimination of mass transfer resistances during electrochem- ical oxidation/precipitation. Compared to the use of individual approaches, the hybrid reactor is expected to intensify the treatment process by 5–20 times, depending on the application in question, which can be confirmed based on the literature illustrations. Also, the use of OzonixÒ has been successfully proven while processing recycled fluids at commercial sites on over 750 oil and natural gas wells during hydrau- lic operations around the United States. The superiority of the hybrid process over conventional chemical treatments in terms of bacteria and scale reduction as well as increased water flowability and better chemical compatibility, which is a key requirement for oil and gas applications, has been established.

Ó 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

may destroy microorganisms on the surface leaving the innermost organisms intact. Furthermore, the efficacy of any disinfection method depends on a number of factors, including solution condi- tions (e.g., temperature, turbidity) and variable microorganism resistance to inactivation and hence the treatment strategy cannot be generalized. The potency of certain physical techniques, such as ultraviolet light, is limited by light scattering [7], absorbing solu- tions [8], or when microorganisms are capable of photo-reactiva- tion (self-repair). Another disadvantage of the chemical methods is limited effectiveness when chemical flocculation is used as a pretreatment stage. The removal of fine particles such as clays from water is usually achieved by flocculation using chemicals such as aluminum sulfate. The flocs can entrap bacteria and their spores protecting them from chlorination. The vast majority of floc particles are removed, but one or two may pass through the system unaffected by the final disinfection stage. Thus, there is a need for developing some alternate techniques for water disinfection. Another important requirement of the alternative water treatment is that the treatment approach should be able to reduce the scale formation, which possibly will avoid the use of any external scale inhibitors in the process giving a superior treatment approach.

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