The use and recirculation of powdered activated carbon (PAC) as an advanced treatment for colour removal in municipal wastewater treatment plants is presented. Studied wastewaters consist of domestic effluents with a high portion of dyehouse residual waters. The particularity of the treatment is that PAC is not disposed of before being recirculated several times. Therefore, it enables the use of a great part of the total adsorption capacity of the PAC. A positive side effect is that halogenated and refractory organic compounds, which are not degraded by micro-organisms in a conventional municipal wastewater treatment plant, are removed too. This paper describes results which were obtained in batch experiments and in a pilot plant during two years of observation, and concludes with advantages and drawbacks of this technology.

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