This study examined the effect of pore-blocking (PB) background organic matter, which is known to hinder adsorption kinetics, on the rate of trace contaminant desorption. Adsorption, displaced desorption (DD) and nondisplaced desorption (NDD) kinetic tests were performed using powdered activated carbon (PAC) that was preloaded with natural organic matter (NOM). Since the NDM contained both strongly competing (SC) and PB components, the proposed model separated the contributions of the SC and PB NOM to the overall diffusion coefficient of the target contaminant. By factoring out the SC NOM contribution, which increases the overall diffusion coefficient, it was found that the relationship used to model the effect of PB NOM on adsorption kinetics could also describe desorption kinetics. The results highlighted the substantial influence of competitive SC NOM on the kinetics of adsorption and desorption. SC NOM competition aids contaminant removal by offsetting the undesirable effects of pore blocking on adsorption kinetics. However, for desorption events, PB NOM serves a practical benefit of reducing the rate of release of adsorbed micropollutants, while SC NOM counters that gain by both displacing contaminants and accelerating their diffusion.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Environmental Chemistry