ABSTRACT: Organic pollutants in reverse osmosis (RO) concentrates from wastewater reclamation are mainly comprised of low molecular weight biorefractory compounds. Generally, advanced oxidation methods for oxidizing these organics require a relatively high level of energy consumption. In addition, conventional adsorption removal methods require a large dose of activated carbon. However, the dose can be reduced if its full adsorption capacity can be used. Therefore, the combined technology of powdered activated carbon (PAC) adsorption and microfiltration (MF) membrane filtration was studied to develop a countercurrent two-stage adsorption process. A PAC accumulative adsorption prediction method was proposed based on the verification of a PAC multi-stage adsorption capacity equation. Moreover, the prediction method was amended for a more accurate prediction of the effluent quality because adsorption isotherm constants were affected by the initial adsorbate concentration. The required PAC dose for the accumulative countercurrent two-stage adsorption system was 0.6 g/L, whereas that of the conventional adsorption process was 1.05 g/L when the dilution factor(F) was 0.1 and the COD and DOC removal rates were set to 70% and 68.1%, respectively. Organic pollutants were satisfactorily removed with less consumption of PAC. Effluent from this combined technology can be further reclaimed by an RO process to improve the overall recovery rate to between 91.0% and 93.8% with both economic and environmental benefits.
Water Research 10/2011; 46(1):218-26. · 4.86 Impact Factor