European Water Treatment Practices — The Promise of Biological Activated Carbon

by G. Wade Miller, Dir. of Environmental Programs; Public Technology, Inc., Washington, D.C.,
Rip G. Rice, Corporate Mgr.; Government Relations, Jacobs Engrg. Co., Washington, D.C.,


Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1978, Vol. 48, Issue 2, Pg. 81-83


Document Type: Feature article

Abstract: Bacterial growths occur in all granulated activated carbon columns. In fact, it is difficult to prevent such growths. The Germans now deliberately foster aerobic bacterial growth by providing large quantities of dissolved oxygen. At the same time, ozonation converts many of the dissolved organics present in the raw water to smaller molecules that are biodegradable. These molecules now become food for the bacteria on the carbon. The so-called biological activated carbon (BAC) also absorbs those organics not readily attacked by ozone. Once adsorbed onto carbon, the bacteria degrade them at their leisure. As this occurs, the adsorption capability of the carbon is replaced. Thus, the bacteria regenerate or reactive the carbon in-situ. For polluted raw waters, ozone coupled with activated carbon appears to be the best technique for reduction of organic concentrations in drinking water. Carbon beds would have to be regenerated only once every two or three years, thereby reducing regeneration costs.

Subject Headings: Activated carbon | Europe | Waste treatment | Water treatment

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