The sorption characteristic of biological powdered activated carbon (BPAC) were investigated in a hybrid membrane process which was accomplished by introducing powdered activated carbon (PAC) into a crossflow microfiltration system and seeding microorganisms. This combined process was designated BPAC-MF and could be an alternative system for reclamation of secondary sewage effluent. Experiments were carried out to identify the ability of BPAC to remove various dissolved refractory organic matter in secondary sewage effluents such as peptone, beef extract, lauryl sulfate, humic acid, tannin, lignin and gum arabic. Adsorption test by fresh powdered activated carbon (PAC) showed significantly different adsorption characteristics for each organic substance. These adsorption characteristics were identified by the analysis of gel permeable chromatography (GPC). The sorptive capacity of BPAC was almost four times higher than that of fresh PAC. This phenomenon could be explained from the sorption capacity of PAC and BPAC for each substance. For the hardly adsorbable refractory organics, humic acid and gum arabic, the sorption capacity of bPAC was 12.1 and 8.7 mg/g respectively. These values are significantly high compared with 3.6 and 0.2 mg/g obtained by PAC. It was estimated that the enhanced sorption capacity of BPAC was due to the stimulation of activated carbon adsorption by biological effect.

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