Geosmin and 2-methylisoborneol (2-MIB) are naturally occurring compounds responsible for musty-earthy-odors in surface water supplies. They are a severe problem confronting utilities worldwide. Adsorption by powdered activated carbon (PAC) is a widely used process to control this problem, but it has low efficiency, which engenders large budget spending for utilities services. Super-powdered activated carbon (S-PAC) is activated carbon with much finer particles than those of PAC. Experiments on geosmin and 2-MIB adsorptions on S-PAC and PAC were conducted. Geosmin and 2-MIB adsorption capacities on S-PAC were not smaller than those on PAC although natural organic matter, which adversely impacted the adsorption capacity of geosmin and 2-MIB, was more adsorbed on S-PAC than on PAC, meaning that the adsorption competition is less severe for S-PAC than for PAC.
Keywords: competitive adsorption, humic substance, PAC, particle size, submicrometer, taste and odor