Removal of organic matter from wastewater reverse osmosis concentrate using granular activated carbon and anion exchange resin adsorbent columns in sequence.

Elsevier BV
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Chemosphere, 2020, 261, pp. 127549
Issue Date:
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Reverse osmosis concentrate (ROC) generated as a waste stream during reverse osmosis treatment of reclaimed wastewater, presents significant disposal challenges. This is because it causes environmental pollution when it is disposed to lands and natural water bodies. A long-term dynamic adsorption experiment was conducted by passing ROC from a wastewater reclamation plant, firstly through a granular activated carbon (GAC) column, and subsequently through an anion exchange resin (Purolite) column, for the removal of two major ROC pollutants, namely dissolved organic carbon (DOC) and microorganic pollutants (MOP). GAC removed most of the smaller-sized low molecular weight neutrals and building block fractions as well as the hydrophobic fraction of DOC with much less removal by the subsequent Purolite column. In contrast, the humics fraction was less well removed by the GAC column; however, Purolite column removed all that was remaining of this fraction. This study demonstrated that combining adsorbents having different affinities towards a variety of DOC fractions constitute an effective method of taking advantage of their different properties and achieving larger DOC removals. Almost 100% of all 17 MOPs were removed by the GAC column, even after 2880 bed volumes of continuous use. This contrasted with the DOC fractions' removal which was much lower.
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