Influence of powdered and granular activated carbon system as a pre-treatment alternative for membrane filtration of produced water

Borte Kose-Mutlu*, Mustafa Evren Ersahin, Hale Ozgun, Recep Kaya, Cumali Kinaci, Ismail Koyuncu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND: Membrane technology is used for the treatment of produced water enabling high permeate quality to meet discharge standards or potable and irrigation water quality standards. In this study, the effect of hybrid membrane-activated carbon processes on the performance of nanofiltration (NF) and reverse osmosis (RO) membrane systems treating mixed oil and gas field produced water was investigated. Different pre-treatment alternatives including combinations of microfiltration unit and powdered activated carbon (PAC) or granular activated carbon (GAC) systems were applied prior to nanofiltration and reverse osmosis processes. RESULTS: The activated carbon process increased chemical oxygen demand (COD) and conductivity removal efficiencies due to the organic matter and ion adsorption capacity of activated carbon. PAC addition gave the best removal efficiencies for COD, whereas highest conductivity removals were obtained in studies with GAC addition. CONCLUSION: Differences obtained in the performance of different pre-treatment alternatives based on targeted pollutants and membrane characteristics confirmed synergetic/antagonistic effects between pre- and final membrane treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)283-291
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Chemical Technology and Biotechnology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Society of Chemical Industry


The authors thank Turkish Petroleum Corporation (TPAO) for conducting ICP and SEM measurements, and providing the produced water. The authors also thank Technological Research Council of Turkey (TUBITAK) for financial support (Project No: 107G091).

FundersFunder number
Technological Research Council of Turkey
Turkish Petroleum Corporation


    • fouling
    • granular activated carbon
    • nanofiltration
    • powdered activated carbon
    • produced water
    • reverse osmosis


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