Catalog Item

S&T Project 19192 Final Report: Adsorption of Organic Micropollutants by Activated Carbon and Biochar

A novel powdered ash-treated pine biochar (PATB) was compared to powdered activated carbon (PAC) for the removal of dissolved organic matter (DOM) and organic micropollutants (OMPs) from deionized water (DI), a raw surface water (SW), and a treated wastewater (WW). PATB performance (capacity and kinetics) was the primary focus under realistic water treatment adsorbent doses (<200 mg/L) and contact times (<120 minutes). For the removal of DOM, iohexol (IOH), sucralose (SUC), and sulfamethoxazole, PAC consistently outperformed PATB. For the more readily adsorbable OMPs carbamazepine, cotinine, DEET, and theobromine, removal by the two adsorbents was comparable. Dose response and kinetic results for each adsorbent between SW and WW for DOM, IOH, and SUC were similar as their initial dissolved organic carbon concentrations were diluted to the same range: 2.0 to 2.2 mg/L. SUC was found to have a higher affinity for PATB in DI, but ultimate removal was still limited by its lower specific surface area compared to PAC (~500 vs ~1,000 m2/g). Additional investigations included combined adsorbent treatment and projecting batch results to fixed bed breakthrough curves for hypothetical full-scale granular activated carbon and granular ash-treated biochar adsorbers using both the homogeneous surface diffusion model and pore and surface diffusion model.
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Generation Effort S&T Project 19192: Adsorption of Organic Micropollutants by Activated Carbon and Biochar
Type Uploaded file(s)
File Type PDF
Publisher Bureau of Reclamation
Publication Date Monday, September 19th, 2022
Update Frequency not planned
Last Update Wednesday, March 1st, 2023


The findings and conclusions of this work are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the views of the Bureau of Reclamation.