Simultaneous removal of atrazine and nitrate using a biological granulated activated carbon (BGAC) reactor

Moshe Herzberg, Carlos G. Dosoretz, Sheldon Tarre, Beliavsky Michael, Minz Dror, Michal Green

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


The objective of this research was to characterize the performance of granulated activated carbon (GAC) as a carrier for Pseudomonas ADP in a non-sterile continuous fluidized bed reactor for atrazine degradation under anoxic conditions. The GAC was compared with two non-adsorbing carriers: non-adsorbing carbon particles ('Baker product') having the same surface area available for biofilm growth as the GAC, and sintered glass beads. The initial atrazine degradation efficiency was higher than 90% in the reactors with the non-adsorbing carriers, but deteriorated to 20% with time due to contamination by foreign denitrifying bacteria. In contrast, no deterioration was observed in the biological granulated activated carbon (BGAC reactor. A maximal atrazine volumetric and specific degradation rate of 0.820 ± 0.052 g atrazine dm-3 day-1 and 1.7 ± 0.4 g atrazine g-1 protein day-1 respectively were observed in the BGAC reactor. Concurrent atrazine biodegradation and desorption from the carrier was shown and an effluent concentration of 0.002 mg dm-3 (below the EPA standard) was achieved in the BGAC reactor. The advantages of the BGAC reactor over the non-adsorbing carrier reactors can probably be explained by the adsorption-desorption mechanism providing favorable microenvironmental conditions for atrazine-degrading bacteria.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)626-631
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of chemical technology and biotechnology
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Atrazine
  • Biofim
  • Degradation
  • Fluidized bed reactor
  • GAC


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