Jump to main content
Jump to site search
Access to RSC content Close the message box

Continue to access RSC content when you are not at your institution. Follow our step-by-step guide.



Chemical regeneration of granular activated carbon: preliminary evaluation of alternative regenerant solutions

Author affiliations

Abstract

Granular activated carbon (GAC) is used in drinking water treatment plants worldwide to remove micro-pollutants such as pesticides. Early breakthrough of problematic micro-pollutants leads to frequent and costly thermal regeneration off-site. A potential alternative approach is to chemically regenerate GAC on-site (possibly in situ) with an appropriate solution capable of desorbing organic contaminants, having a range of physico-chemical properties. In this study, four types of regenerant solution were evaluated in batch tests for their ability to desorb five target contaminants. The solutions were: high purity water, sodium hydroxide, ethanol, and a mixture of sodium hydroxide and ethanol. The contaminants included: phenol and nitrobenzene, as representative aromatic compounds; clopyralid and metaldehyde, as poorly-adsorbed pesticides; and isoproturon, a well-adsorbed pesticide. Among the properties of the contaminants, their hydrophobicity and aqueous solubility had the most significant influence on the desorption efficiency. NaOH/CH3CH2OH was found to be more effective than individual solutions in desorbing the target contaminants, indicating an ability to desorb both hydrophobic and hydrophilic compounds. The NaOH/CH3CH2OH regenerant solution yielded desorption efficiencies in the range of approximately 40–90%, with the efficiency dependent on the contaminant. A thermodynamic study provided valuable fundamental information regarding the adsorption and desorption mechanisms, and the existence of two binding sites involving a weak physisorption and a stronger chemisorption-like interaction between the contaminants and the GAC.

Graphical abstract: Chemical regeneration of granular activated carbon: preliminary evaluation of alternative regenerant solutions

Back to tab navigation

Supplementary files

Article information


Submitted
08 Apr 2020
Accepted
12 Jun 2020
First published
15 Jun 2020

This article is Open Access

Environ. Sci.: Water Res. Technol., 2020, Advance Article
Article type
Paper

Chemical regeneration of granular activated carbon: preliminary evaluation of alternative regenerant solutions

A. Larasati, G. D. Fowler and N. J. D. Graham, Environ. Sci.: Water Res. Technol., 2020, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/D0EW00328J

This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported Licence. Material from this article can be used in other publications provided that the correct acknowledgement is given with the reproduced material and it is not used for commercial purposes.

Reproduced material should be attributed as follows:

  • For reproduction of material from NJC:
    [Original citation] - Published by The Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) on behalf of the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) and the RSC.
  • For reproduction of material from PCCP:
    [Original citation] - Published by the PCCP Owner Societies.
  • For reproduction of material from PPS:
    [Original citation] - Published by The Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) on behalf of the European Society for Photobiology, the European Photochemistry Association, and RSC.
  • For reproduction of material from all other RSC journals:
    [Original citation] - Published by The Royal Society of Chemistry.

Information about reproducing material from RSC articles with different licences is available on our Permission Requests page.


Social activity

Search articles by author

Spotlight

Advertisements