A method to encapsulate activated carbon particles is presented that reduces fouling of these particles with Natural Organic Matter (NOM) to preserve their adsorption capacity for Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) from water in the presence of NOM. The encapsulation method uses an oil-in-water emulsion template to encapsulate the activated carbon particles within a gas-filled porous shell of hydrophobic silica particles. This new ‘gas-shell-encapsulation’ method has little influence on the adsorption capacity of the activated carbon for a representative VOC (toluene). The adsorption of NOM components (humic acid) onto the encapsulated activated carbon is however strongly reduced such that preloading of the encapsulated activated carbon with humic acid hardly reduces its adsorption capacity for toluene, whereas for unencapsulated activated carbon preloading with humic acid reduces the adsorption capacity by roughly a factor of three.
- Activated carbon
- Water treatment