Granular activated carbon (GAC) is used in water treatment systems, typically to remove pollutants such as natural organic matter, volatile organic compounds, chlorine, taste, and odor. GAC is also used as a key component of a new technology that combines a fluidized bed reactor with radio frequency electric fields for disinfection. So far, the effects of GAC on bacteria in these fluidized bed reactors are unclear. This paper describes a systematic study of the physico-chemical changes in five microbial media compositions caused by different concentrations (23–350¿g/L) of GAC, and the effects of these physico-chemical changes on the metabolic activity and survival of a model microorganism (Escherichia coli YMc10) in a fluidized bed reactor. The chemical adsorption taking place in suspensions with specific GAC changed nutritional, osmotic, and pH conditions in the investigated microbial media (LB, diluted LB, PBS, diluted PBS, and tap water), leading to a decay of the metabolic activity and survival of E. coli. Especially media that are poor in organic and mineral compounds (e.g., PBS) with suspended GAC showed a concentration decay of 3.5¿Log CFU/mL E. coli after 6¿h. Organic compounds depletion and severe pH variation were enhanced in the presence of higher GAC concentrations. Biotechnol. Bioeng. 2014;111: 2009–2018.
- alternating electric-fields