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The application of GAC sandwich slow sand filtration to remove pharmaceutical and personal care products

Li, J; Zhou, Q; Campos, LC; (2018) The application of GAC sandwich slow sand filtration to remove pharmaceutical and personal care products. Science of The Total Environment , 635 pp. 1182-1190. 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2018.04.198. Green open access

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Abstract

Lab-scale GAC sandwich slow sand filters with different GAC layer depths were evaluated for the first time to remove selected pharmaceutical and personal care products (PPCPs) (namely DEET, paracetamol, caffeine and triclosan, 25 μg/L). Coarse sand (effective grain size of 0.6 mm) was used instead of conventional fine sand. In addition to single sand and GAC filters, GAC sandwich filters were assessed at three filtration rates (i.e. 5 cm/h, 10 cm/h and 20 cm/h) to compare removals. Sandwich filter with 20 cm GAC achieved the best average PPCP removal (98.2%) at 10 cm/h rate. No significant difference of average PPCP removal was found between 10 and 20 cm/h filtration rates for the three GAC sandwich filters (p > 0.05). Among the selected PPCPs, DEET, the recalcitrant compound, was most effectively removed by the GAC sandwich filters. Combining the GAC layers with the slow sand filters significantly enhanced the removal of the target PPCP compounds (p < 0.05), demonstrating that both adsorption and biodegradation contributed to the removals. Furthermore, pseudo-second-order equation (Type 1) could best represent the adsorption kinetics of the four target PPCP compounds onto GAC. In relation to other quality parameters, sandwich filter with 20 cm of GAC also showed good average removals of chemical oxygen demand (COD) of 65.8% and total organic carbon (TOC) of 90.3%, but occurrence of ammonium up to 0.76 mg/L concentration indicated inapplicability of filtration rate of 5 cm/h. No significant difference was found between 10 cm/h and 20 cm/h filtration rates for nitrogen and phosphate removals (p > 0.05). Results of this lab-scale investigation show that GAC sandwich slow sand filter is potentially an effective process for removing PPCPs from tertiary wastewater.

Type: Article
Title: The application of GAC sandwich slow sand filtration to remove pharmaceutical and personal care products
Location: Netherlands
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2018.04.198
Publisher version: http://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2018.04.198
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Adsorption kinetics, GAC sandwich slow sand filtration, PPCPs, Removal
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Civil, Environ and Geomatic Eng
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10050634
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