Taste and Odor Removal with Activated Carbons
Activated carbon is perhaps the most widely used and most versatile product in both water and wastewater treatments. In either granular, powdered, or block form, it can always do some good and adds nothing detrimental to the water quality. Because of their multifunctional nature, activated carbons can be considered a "scavenger medium”. In addition to dechlorination, the same "workhorse medium" (activated carbon) bed can simultaneously adsorb many organics, such as trihalomethanes, and synthetic organic compounds such as pesticides, detergents, and hydrocarbons, as well as serve as an excellent sediment removal medium. Activated carbon's one shortcoming lies in its ability, under proper conditions, to act as a harbor for microorganisms (nonpathogenic) to multiply. Studies of activated carbon units, however, have not shown this medium to encourage pathogenic bacterial growth. Assuming the water to be treated is free of pathogens, there would be little basis for these species to grow in an activated carbon bed that would be processing an already potable quality water. Activated carbon products have tremendous surface areas both on irregular external surface itself and in their vast interior network pore structure. Depending on the carbon base material itself, available surface areas can range from 650 to 1300m2/grams and ash content can vary from 0.20 to 12.0 percent.