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Water 2017, 9(7), 479; https://doi.org/10.3390/w9070479

Fate of Trace Organic Compounds in Granular Activated Carbon (GAC) Adsorbers for Drinking Water Treatment

1
Berliner Wasserbetriebe, Research and Development, 10864 Berlin, Germany
2
Technische Universität Berlin, Chair of Water Quality Control, Strasse des 17. Juni 135, 10623 Berlin, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 30 April 2017 / Revised: 23 June 2017 / Accepted: 26 June 2017 / Published: 30 June 2017
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Abstract

Granular activated carbon (GAC) adsorbers for drinking water treatment were operated for approx. 14 months and the breakthrough of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) and trace organic chemicals (TOrCs) was monitored. Effluent concentration profiles of gabapentin and valsartan acid increase already at throughputs of <10,000 BV. The corresponding breakthrough curves flatten out without reaching the influent concentration level. This strongly indicates biological degradation of these substances in the GAC adsorbers under aerobic conditions, contributing to a more efficient use of GAC. The observed biodegradation in pilot GAC adsorbers also confirms recent reports of biodegradation of gabapentin and valsartan acid during managed aquifer recharge. Oxypurinol is comparatively well adsorbed and no breakthrough was observed during the experimental period. Adsorption capacity and breakthrough characteristics of oxypurinol appear very similar to carbamazepine. Breakthrough of GAC adsorbers operated with drinking water was compared to those of groundwater-fed adsorbers. The results show, that it is generally advisable to use previously aerated influents for GAC fixed-bed adsorbers because this can substantially improve biological removal of otherwise poorly adsorbable compounds and ensure full GAC accessibility for adsorbates by avoiding the undesirable formation of inorganic precipitates on adsorption sites. View Full-Text
Keywords: GAC adsorption; oxypurinol; gabapentin; valsartan acid; carbamazepine; TOrCs; drinking water; groundwater GAC adsorption; oxypurinol; gabapentin; valsartan acid; carbamazepine; TOrCs; drinking water; groundwater
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Sperlich, A.; Harder, M.; Zietzschmann, F.; Gnirss, R. Fate of Trace Organic Compounds in Granular Activated Carbon (GAC) Adsorbers for Drinking Water Treatment. Water 2017, 9, 479.

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