A dynamic design procedure for fixed bed activated carbon adsorption of organics from concentrated industrial wastewater streams



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Future fresh water supply demands require a technological fix in fresh water supply practices if such are to be met. Two courses of research appear able to provide a broader fresh water supply base: desalinization of brine and reclamation of wastewater. The reclamation of domestic wastewater has been researched extensively, but the reclamation of concentrated industrial wastewater has not been investigated extensively. This research investigation explored the use of granular activated carbon adsorption to reclaim concentrated industrial wastewater. The Weber and Eckenfelder steady-state theories of fixed bed adsorber design were inapplicable to the analyses of data in which organic loading varied as a function of time. A finite differences approach was used to approximate the continuous design functions. This procedure eliminated several theoretical difficulties inherent in the Weber and Eckenfelder design theories. The dynamic theory developed was used to interpret the data from carbon adsorption columns on two live industrial wastewater streams and two synthetic wastewaters. The experiments confirmed the use of total organic carbon as loading parameters for design of fixed bed activated carbon adsorption column for multicomponent systems. The experimental data confirmed the usefulness of the design theory and the feasibility of granular activated carbon adsorption to reclaim concentrated industrial wastewater