Effects of biodegradation and background inorganic substances on granular activated carbon adsorption of wastewater

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Journal Article
Separation Science and Technology, 2003, 38 (11), pp. 2515 - 2531
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Background inorganic substances are thought to disrupt the adsorption process used in wastewater treatment systems. In this study, a low-strength synthetic wastewater was investigated for biodegradation and adsorption onto granular activated carbon, with and without the presence of background inorganic compounds. Overall, organic compounds in the synthetic wastewater underwent slow biodegradation, but when a solution was prepared with only one or two individual organic components present in the wastewater, biodegradation ceased. This effect was noticed both in the presence and absence of inorganic compounds. The association theory was found to describe the overall adsorption equilibrium of the system better than the more commonly used Freundlich isotherm. The isotherm patterns of the synthetic wastewater indicated that the dissolved inorganic substances had unfavorable effects on the adsorption of dissolved organic substances.
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