Bromate removal in an ozone - granular activated carbon filtration process for organic micropollutants removal from wastewater

Jan Peter van der Hoek*, Tianyi Deng, Tiza Spit, Veerle Luimstra, Merle de Kreuk, Doris van Halem

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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Organic micropollutants (OMPs) enter the aquatic environment via municipal wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs). As conventional WWTPs have limited capacity for the removal of OMPs, additional processes are required, like ozone - granular activated carbon (GAC) filtration. A specific lay-out of this process is the O3-STEP® process, in which the removal of suspended solids, OMPs, phosphate and nitrate is combined. However, ozonation may result in formation of bromate, a compound with a strict water quality standard of 1 μg/L for surface waters in The Netherlands. This limits the applicability of ozonation in wastewater treatment. This study examined biological bromate removal associated with denitrification processes in the GAC filter of the O3-STEP® process. In this GAC filter methanol is dosed for nitrate removal by biological denitrification. In column experiments, bromate and nitrate were removed simultaneously under both anoxic and oxic conditions. Depletion of oxygen within the biofilm surrounding the GAC granules most probably is the reason for denitrification under oxic bulk conditions, although aerobic denitrification cannot be excluded. In batch experiments, the presence of nitrate did not affect bromate removal, whereas the presence of dissolved oxygen had a slight inhibitory effect on bromate removal and nitrate removal. Addition of methanol increased both nitrate and bromate removal, which is hypothesized to occur through an increased availability of electron donors in the water. The results show that a denitrifying GAC filter in the ozone - GAC filtration process mitigates the bromate formation, which broadens the applicability of this process for OMP removal from wastewater.
Original languageEnglish
Article number104877
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Water Process Engineering
Publication statusPublished - 2024


  • Bromate
  • Denitrification
  • Nitrate
  • Organic micropollutants
  • Ozone – granular activated carbon filtration


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