uhliSurface waters employed for drinking water production may contain a variety of pollutants. During the wholesale seasonal growth of cyanobacteria and green algae, a concentration of AOM (Algal Organic Matter) increases in raw water. In particular peptide components of AOM with low molecular weight are removed by conventional water treatment based on coagulation/flocculation with a very low efficiency. Residual concentrations of AOM in the treated water subsequently cause a number of problems, most important of which is probably the formation of disinfection by-products (DBPs), which belong among the suspected or proven carcinogens. Besides these negative effects, a significant inhibitory effect of the low-molecular weight components of AOM on the adsorption of anthropogenic micropollutants (pesticides, pharmaceuticals, etc.) has also been demonstrated. For these reasons, it is necessary to look for other methods to effectively remove AOM peptides during the drinking water treatment. Adsorption onto activated carbon (AC) is one of such suitable methods.


Research activities


  • Study of competitive adsorption of AOM onto activated carbon (equilibrium and kinetic adsorption experiments, preloading experiments)
  • Evaluation of the effect of AOM properties (composition, molecular weight distribution, AOM surface charge etc.) and activated carbon properties (pore size distribution, surface charge, etc.) on adsorption efficiency
  • Study of adsorption mechanisms of AOM and micropollutants (electrostatic interactions, hydrophobic interactions, hydrogen bonding)
  • Study of adsorption inhibition by low-molecular AOM (competitive adsorption)
  • Adsorption modelling by generation of experimental adsorption isotherms for AOM and selected micropollutants at different types of activated carbon
  • Design of adsorption technologies for water treatment