The adsorption of organic micropollutants onto powdered activated carbon (PAC) was investigated in laboratory scale based on samples from four wastewater process streams (matrices); three from a pilot-scale plant with different degrees of physicochemical treatment of municipal wastewater and one from a full-scale activated sludge plant with post-precipitation. The pilot-scale treatment consisted of chemically enhanced primary treatment with microsieving followed by direct membrane filtration as microfiltration or ultrafiltration. The results showed highest adsorption of micropollutants in the tertiary (biologically and chemically) treated wastewater and lowest adsorption in the microsieve filtrate. Adsorption of micropollutants in the direct membrane microfiltration (200 nm) permeate was generally similar to that in the direct membrane ultrafiltration (3 nm) permeate. The higher adsorption of micropollutants in the tertiary treated wastewater could be related to a lower concentration of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) and lower affinity of DOC for PAC at low dosage (<15 mg PAC/L) in this matrix. At a PAC dose of 10 mg/L, sulfamethoxazole was removed by 33% in the tertiary treated wastewater and 7% in the direct membrane microfiltration permeate. In addition to the PAC experiments, a pilot scale sand filter and a proceeding GAC filter was operated on tertiary treated wastewater from the full-scale treatment plant. Similar removal trends in the PAC and GAC experiments were observed when studying a weighted average micropollutant removal in the GAC filter and a similar dose of activated carbon for both PAC and GAC. Positively charged micropollutants were removed to a higher extent than negatively charged ones by both PAC and GAC.
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A comparison of adsorption of organic micropollutants onto activated carbon following chemically enhanced primary treatment with microsieving, direct membrane filtration and tertiary treatment of municipal wastewater
Gidstedt, S. (Skapad av), Betsholtz, A. (Skapad av), Falås, P. (Skapad av), Cimbritz, M. (Skapad av), Davidsson, Å. (Skapad av), Micolucci, F. (Skapad av) & Svahn, O. (Skapad av), Elsevier, 2022