Use of granular activated carbon and carbon block filters at municipal and point of use drinking water treatment for removal of organics
Activated Carbon has been used for decades to remove organics from water at large scale in municipal water treatment as well as at small scale in Point of Use (POU) and Point of Entry (POE) water treatment. This study focused on Granular Activated Carbon (GAC) and also activated Carbon Block (CB) were studied.
This thesis has three related elements for organics control in drinking water. First, coagulation chemistry for Alum and Aluminum Chlorohydrate (ACH) was optimized for significant organics removal to address membrane fouling issue at a local municipal water treatment plant in Arizona. Second, Rapid Small Scale Column Tests were conducted for removal of Perfluorinated compounds (PFC), PFC were present in groundwater at a local site in Arizona at trace levels with combined concentration of Perfluorooctaneoic Acid (PFOA) and Perfloorooctanesulfonic Acid (PFOS) up to 245 ng/L. Groundwater from the concerned site is used as drinking water source by a private utility. PFC Removal was evaluated for different GAC, influent concentrations and particle sizes. Third, a new testing protocol (Mini Carbon Block (MCB)) for bench scale study of POU water treatment device, specifically carbon block filter was developed and evaluated. The new bench scale decreased the hydraulic requirements by 60 times approximately, which increases the feasibility to test POU at a lab scale. It was evaluated for a common POU organic contaminant: Chloroform, and other model contaminants.
10 mg/L of ACH and 30 mg/L of Alum with pH adjustment were determined as optimal coagulant doses. Bituminous coal based GAC was almost three times better than coconut shell based GAC for removing PFC. Multiple tests with MCB suggested no short circuiting and consistent performance for methylene blue though chloroform removal tests underestimated full scale carbon block performance but all these tests creates a good theoretical and practical fundament for this new approach and provides directions for future researchers.