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Environmental Engineering Research 2003;8(4): 184-192. DOI: https://doi.org/10.4491/eer.2003.8.4.184
GRANULAR ACTIVATED CARBON (GAC) BIOFILTER FOR LOW STRENGTH WASTEWATER TREATMENT
Durgananda Singh Chaudhary, Saravanamuthu Vigneswaran, Huu Hao Ngo, Wang Geun Shim, and Hee Hee
1Faculty of Engineering, University of Technology Sydney (UTS), P.O. Box 123, Broadway, NSW 2007, Australia
2Faculty of Applied Chemistry, Chonnam National University, Gwangju 500-757, Korea
Corresponding Author: Saravanamuthu Vigneswaran ,Tel: +61 -2-95142641, Fax: +61 -2-95142633, Email: s.vigneswaran@uts.edu.au
Received: May 18, 2003;  Accepted: August 19, 2003.
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ABSTRACT
Biofilter can be a cost-effective alternative treatment unit, especially for low strength wastewater. In this study, detailed experimental investigation of a GAC biofilter was carried out in a laboratory-scale unit using low strength synthetic wastewater. Performance of the biofilter was evaluated in terms of total organic carbon (TOC) removal. The TOC removal efficiency of the biofilter (when acclimatized at the filtration rate of 1 m3/irfhr) was found to be stabilized at around 55% after 30 days, and remained constant for 77 days of continuous operation of the biofilter. The long-term operational efficiency of the biofilter was predicted by a simple mathematical model, which was developed incorporating both adsorption and biological degradation of the organics. The average biomass retained on the activated carbon ranged from 0.036 to 0.09 g per g of GAC (as dry weight). Filter backwashing provided at 30% bed expansion for 5 min on a daily basis to overcome physical clogging of the filter by attached mass, had no adverse effect on the active biomass attached to the media and thus the organic removal efficiency of the filter remained unchanged. Although, the organic removal efficiency was reduced when hydraulic loading rate of the filter was increased, the organic removal pattern of the filter with time remained unchanged. The results also indicated that the influent organic concentration could have significant effect on the organic removal pattern and thus the biofilter should be operated as close to steady-state conditions as possible to achieve optimum organic removal efficiency.
Keywords: biofilter | biomass | GAC | organics | wastewater
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