Abstract

The thermal reactivation of granular activated carbon is a substantial ecological and economic benefit in the process of drinking water treatment. A significant amount of abraded carbon, which is similar to powdered activated carbon (PAC), is produced that can be brought to application at wastewater treatment plant level for the removal of micropollutants in a powdered activated carbon–activated sludge (PAC–AS) system. This excess carbon derived as a by-product from the reactivation process in a waterworks was applied directly into the activated sludge tank and has been elevated in this study by monitoring the removal efficiencies for benzotriazole, carbamazepine, diclofenac, metoprolol and sulfamethoxazole in the effluent of a semi-technical wastewater treatment plant of 39 m3. A simulation-derived sampling strategy was applied to optimize the recovery rates of the micropollutants. Flow-proportional, 72-hour composite sampling was considered best. The elimination rates obtained for a 10 g PAC·m−3 dosage were 73% for benzotriazole, 59% for carbamazepine, 60% for diclofenac, 67% for metoprolol and 48% for sulfamethoxazole. The obtained results underline the importance of appropriate sampling strategies, which can be derived from hydraulic modeling.

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