Efficiency of PAC contactors of hybrid membrane process used in drinking water production to remove ammonium, organic carbon and micropollutants.

In drinking water production, low pressure membranes (LPM) have evolved as a superior alternative to conventional treatment for the control of particulate contaminants (including protozoan parasites). However, increased attention is currently given to dissolved compounds, such as ammonium, biodegradable organic matter (BDOC), organic micropollutants, etc. Drinking Water2This challenge can be addressed so far by combining LPM with a contactor containing powder activated carbon (PAC). Such process is typically referred to as the hybrid membrane process (HMP).

Drinking WaterA high concentration of PAC (1-10 g/L) is kept in suspension in the reactor placed upstream from the LMP. We have shown that complete ammonium and BDOC removals were achievable within this type of process. Depending on PAC age in the reactor, removals can be explained by adsorption or by biological processes (biodegradation, nitrification). At this time, the importance of contact time and PAC age on process performance are studied. The removal of organic micropollutants in PAC contactors functioning in adsorption or in biological mode are also investigated.


Drinking Water Chair – Ecole Polytechnique de Montréal (Barbeau, B.), ESA-ULB (Servais, P.)

ESA members participating to this study:

Stoquart, C., Servais, P.

Period of the study:

April 2009- June 2014.

Financial support:

Drinking Water Chair partners (http://www.polymtl.ca/chaireeau/partenaires/index.php)


Stoquart, C., Servais, P., & Barbeau, B. Ammonia Removal in the Carbon Contactor of a Hybrid Membrane Process. Water Research. 67 : 255-266.

Stoquart, C., Barbeau, B., Servais, P. & Vasquez-Rodriguez, G.A. 2014. Quantifying bacterial biomass fixed onto biological activated carbon (PAC and GAC) used in drinking water treatment. Journal of Water supply: Research and Technology – Aqua. 63(1): 1-11

Stoquart, C., Vasquez, G., Servais, P. & Barbeau, B. 2013. Gamma irradiation: a method to produce an abiotic control for colonized PAC. Environmental Technology. 34(23) : 3091–3097.

Stoquart, C., Servais, P., Bérubé, P.  & Barbeau, B. 2012. Hybrid membrane processes with activated carbon for drinking water: a review. Journal of Membrane Science. 411-412: 1-12.

Markarian, A., Carrière, A. Dallaire, P.-O., Servais P. & Barbeau B. 2010.  Hybrid membrane process: Evaluation of biological PAC. Aqua  - Journal of Water Supply Research and Technology.  59(4): 209-220.