Adsorption of Organic Pollutants in Peat and Carbon Filters: A Pilot Study of Landfil
Övrigt - Programkod, 2012

In this thesis, a pilot plant to treat landfill leachate from contamination at Brudaremossen is
designed, constructed and evaluated as preceding step before constructing a full scale plant
on-site. Brudaremossen is a landfill site located near Lake Delsjön and leachates produced in
this landfill are transferred to Göteborg’s wastewater treatment plant. Since leachate contains
large quantities of harmful pollutants, it may affect the performance of the wastewater
treatment process and quality of the sludge, and thus the leachates could preferable be treated
The organic pollutants of priority in the Brudaremossen landfill leachates are polycyclic
aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), oxygenated PAHs (oxy-PAHs), phthalates, alkylphenols
(APs) and alkylphenolethoxylates (APEOs), and various petroleum hydrocarbon (PHC)
fractions. The treatment technique chosen to study is sorption filtration, and the filter
materials selected were activated carbon and Sphagnum peat moss. Two combinations of
filter materials were examined: a column packed with granulated activated carbon (GAC) in
series with another GAC column, and a column packed with peat moss followed by a column
with GAC. Equal flow rates of the leachate were running through both combinations and the
best alternative were identified based on the adsorbent performance.
The plant was running for 120 days and influent and effluent concentrations to all the four
filters were sampled weekly and selected samples analyzed for organic contaminants
concentration. The result showed convincing performance in the adsorption of all the above
mentioned organic pollutants. The GAC removed PHC fractions more efficiently (84-100%)
than peat (31-52%), while peat was more efficiently adsorbing PAHs (14-61%). After two
months of operation in-field, both of the filters indicate that PAHs, alkylphenols as well as
phthalates were adsorbed effectively. Oxy-PAHs were removed efficiently by both filters.
The GAC filter removed dissolved organic carbon (DOC) (85-100%) more effectively than
the peat filter (2-28%), and total organic carbon (TOC) was removed well (5-100%) by both
filter materials. The peat alternative overall reduced metals with better efficiency. The only
complication during the operational period of the plant was the technical difficulties related to
clogging of the filters due to too high concentration of iron and suspended particles. Therefore
a sand filter was constructed before the filters, and influent and effluent samples from this
filter were also analyzed for contaminants concentration. The need for a further pre-treatment
is desirable because the sand filter was getting clogged too often and needed to be
backwashed. Suggestions were made based on a laboratory test to aerate the leachates with
the addition of CaCO3 as a suitable pre-treatment for the construction of the final treatment plant.


Building Futures

Sustainable Development

Civil Engineering

Hållbar utveckling


Nashita Moona

Chalmers, Bygg- och miljöteknik, Vatten Miljö Teknik


Building Futures (2010-2018)





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