Use of activated carbon to polish effluent from metalworking treatment plant: Comparison of different streams

Nidal Hilal, Gerald Busca, Fernando Rozada, Nick Hankins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The treatment of waste metalworking fluids produces an aqueous phase which exhibits a high Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD) and which contains toxic components. In this work, the treatment plant includes ultrafiltration and nanofiltration membranes followed by a bioreactor and a microfiltration system. The product is a clear yellow aqueous phase containing residual levels of COD. Activated carbon is used in this work to eliminate residual dissolved organic compounds remaining after the treatment plant. Activated carbon treatment is tested at three different stages: after nanofiltration, to treat a nano-permeate; after the bioreactor, to treat bio-permeate containing biological materials; and finally after microfiltration, to treat the bio-permeate without microorganisms. The efficiency of activated carbon after each stage is studied and the results are compared. The adsorption experiments were carried out in two modes. Firstly, a batch system was used to investigate the adsorption capacity of the adsorbent and fit model isotherms. Secondly, fixed continuous systems were set-up, and the feasibility of a real treatment of such effluents was assessed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)297-306
Number of pages10
Issue number1-3
StatePublished - May 22 2005


  • Activated carbon
  • Biodegradation
  • Metalworking fluids
  • Nanofiltration
  • Ultrafiltration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • General Materials Science
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Mechanical Engineering


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