Infoscience

Student project

Conception of a biological activated carbon filter for micropollutants removal in wastewater

The presence of micro pollutants in water is an important emerging problem because of their negative impacts on health and environment. The Swiss Federal Office of the Environment is planning to impose new regulations to reduce the load of micro pollutants in waste water. This paper assesses the use of biological activated carbon (BAC) to treat micro pollutants from small waste water treatment plant (WWTP). In a first part, articles were consulted to evaluate the state of the art of BAC filters: their properties, efficiencies, costs as well as the impact of parameters such as the empty bed contact time (EBCT), aeration and backwashing. In a second part, two BAC filters were designed for implementation in WWTP (Vidy, Lausanne, Switzerland) and laboratory. The dimensioned BAC filter for the WWTP has an EBCT of 90 min and treats 1.7 L day-1. The proposed carbon is the ‘DCL-G’ carbon type. Feed water is pumped from the aeration tank of the Vidy WWTP and rejected before the existing granular activated carbon filter. Backwashing consists in stirring the top layer of carbon bed weekly and no aeration is needed for the proposed implementation. Dissolved organic carbon and micro pollutants monitoring is planned. The BAC filters are expected to remove 90% of micro pollutants treated below a concentration of 10 ng L-1.

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