Effects of ozonation and temperature on the biodegradation of natural organic matter in biological granular activated carbon filters
Abstract. Four pilot (biological) granular activated carbon ((B)GAC) filters were operated to quantify the effects of ozonation and water temperature on the biodegradation of natural organic matter (NOM) in (B)GAC filters. The removal of dissolved organic carbon (DOC), assimilable organic carbon (AOC) and oxygen and the production of carbon dioxide were taken as indicators for NOM biodegradation. Ozonation stimulated DOC and AOC removal in the BGAC filters, but had no significant effect on oxygen consumption or carbon dioxide production. The temperature had no significant effect on DOC and AOC removal, while it had a positive effect on oxygen consumption and carbon dioxide production. Multivariate linear regression was used to quantify these relationships. In summer, the ratio between oxygen consumption and DOC removal was approximately 2 times the theoretical maximum of 2.6 g O2 g C−1 and the ratio between carbon dioxide production and DOC removal was approximately 1.5 times the theoretical maximum of 3.7 g CO2 g C−1. The production and loss of biomass, the degassing of (B)GAC filters, the decrease in the NOM reduction degree and the temperature effects on NOM adsorption could only partly explain these excesses and the non-correlation between DOC and AOC removal and oxygen consumption and carbon dioxide production. It was demonstrated that bioregeneration of NOM could explain the excesses and the non-correlation. Therefore, it was likely that bioregeneration of NOM did occur in the (B)GAC pilot filters.