Biological Oxygen-dosed Activated Carbon (BODAC) Technology: exploring the potential of a bioprocess for the simultaneous removal of organics, metals, and micropollutants in wastewater reclamation practice

Olga Bernadet

Research output: ThesisThesis fully internal (DIV)

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Wastewater reclamation for industrial purposes has been increasingly discussed as a solution for more sustainable water utilization. Removing organic micropollutants (OMPs) from the reclaimed wastewater is crucial to ensure safe re-application. The Ultrapure Water factory (Emmen, The Netherlands) is a successful example of a wastewater reclamation project. Several consecutive treatment steps at this plant, including Biological Oxygen-dosed Activated Carbon (BODAC) filters, are implemented to treat wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) secondary effluent. The purified water is used to produce ultrapure water with low conductivity (<0.2 µS cm-1) used in steam production for an oil extraction process.

BODAC filters were filled with thermally activated granular activated carbon, and later changed into biologically activated carbon due to extensive microbial growth over the years. Regular oxygen dosing maintained aerobic conditions along the filter bed. The original carbon has never been regenerated during its service life, suggesting that in situ regeneration occurred. At the start of this research, BODAC filters prevented the biofouling of the subsequent reverse osmosis membranes. Moreover, BODAC filters could also remove several OMPs from the treated WWTP effluent to a great extent (up to 99%), maintaining consistent good water quality. In this thesis, the physicochemical and microbiological characteristics of the aged BODAC granules were investigated to understand how, and to what extent, efficient bio-regeneration of BODAC granules and operational process parameters (oxygen dosing and backwashing) may contribute to the long service life of the BODAC filters and the removal of organics, metals, and OMPs from WWTP effluent.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • University of Groningen
  • Euverink, Gert-Jan, Supervisor
  • Picchioni, Francesco, Supervisor
Award date30-Jan-2024
Place of Publication[Groningen]
Publication statusPublished - 2024

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