Adsorption and biodegradation of organic micropollutants in activated carbon filters

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Organic micropollutants, such as industrial chemicals, pesticides and pharmaceuticals, are present in surface water at low concentrations. Some of these compounds are not removed by conventional drinking water treatment plants, posing a health risk as the effects of chronic intake of those compounds are not well known. Activated carbon is widely applied as adsorptive material to remove contaminants from drinking water. Moreover, activated carbon provides an interface for biofilm growth and can create conditions to achieve biodegradation of organic micropollutants by increasing contact time between biomass and substrate. We aim to integrate adsorption of organic micropollutants to granular activated carbon with biodegradation (bioregeneration) to develop a technology to remove organic micropollutants from drinking water. This work is done in collaboration with Evides Waterbedrijf N.V.