Continuous subcritical and supercritical water oxidation experiments were conducted on dilute carbamazepine- and estradiol-containing synthetic solutions used to simulate the removal of model emerging pollutants from secondary municipal effluents. The operating conditions comprised 340–500 °C, retention time of 24–453 s and a stoichiometric oxidant ratio (O.C.) between 4 and 64. The transformation of the various species was determined at the outlet and by modeling a segmented non-isothermal reaction system. Four empirical power law kinetic models were established to represent both the pollutants' degradation and TOC removal efficiencies, using nonlinear multiple regression coupled with bootstrapping and K-fold cross-validation. The mineralization and degradation models for both pollutants yielded a R2 of 67–80.5% vs. the experimental results. Discussion on the various model assumptions revealed that attributing full model deviations to the constant oxygen concentration or to the laminar reactor flow, yielded a deviation of 6% and 15% in the removal efficiencies, respectively. However, the expected deviation of the models was lower than 0.32% at conditions leading to (almost) full mineralization (45–60 s, 480–500 °C and O.C.s of 5–10). The methodologies developed in the study are useful for interpreting future results obtained from SCWO of actual secondary effluent solutions.
- Effluent RO retentate