Activated carbon adsorption is most commonly applied in industrial wastewater treatment to meet stringent regulations for discharge into receiving waters.
In industrial wastewater treatment, activated carbon adsorption can be utilized as a separate unit process. It may be placed after various physicochemical treatment steps such as coagulation/clariﬁcation, ﬁltration, and dissolved air ﬂotation. Another alternative is to use activated carbon adsorption prior to biological treatment to remove compounds which might be toxic to a biological system.
Nowadays, activated carbon ﬁnds wide application in the treatment of wastewaters generated from industries such as food, textile, chemical, pharmaceutical, pesticides and herbicides production, coke plant, munitions factories, petroleum reﬁneries and storage installations, organic pigments and dyes, mineral processing plants, insecticides, pesticides, resins, detergents, explosives, and dyestuffs. It is also employed in the treatment of sanitary and hazardous landﬁll leachates.