Modeling the behaviors of adsorption and biodegradation in biological activated carbon filters

Chung Huei Liang, Pen Chi Chiang, E. E. Chang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Citations (Scopus)


This investigation developed a non-steady-state numerical model to differentiate the adsorption and biodegradation quantities of a biological activated carbon (BAC) column. The mechanisms considered in this model are adsorption, biodegradation, convection and diffusion. Simulations were performed to evaluate the effects of the major parameters, the packing media size and the superficial velocity, on the adsorption and biodegradation performances for the removal of dissolved organic carbon based on dimensionless analysis. The model predictions are in agreement with the experimental data by adjusting the liquid-film mass transfer coefficient (kbf), which has high correlation with the Stanton number. The Freundlich isotherm constant (NF), together with the maximum specific substrate utilization rate (kf) and the diffusion coefficient (Df), is the most sensitive variable affecting the performance of the BAC. Decreasing the particle size results in more substrate diffusing across the biofilm, and increases the ratio of adsorption rather than biodegradation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3241-3250
Number of pages10
JournalWater Research
Issue number15
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2007


  • Adsorption
  • Biodegradation
  • Biological activated carbon (BAC)
  • Granular activated carbon (GAC)
  • Numerical model

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth-Surface Processes


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