Carbon 101Water TreatmentTaste & Odour Removal

In recent years, the intensity and frequency of taste and odour problems in drinking water have increased throughout the world. Beyond the aesthetic problem for the consumer, this also invariably creates uncertainties about the quality and safety of water.  The compounds responsible for taste and odour problems can have an anthropogenic (industrial or municipal discharges) or biological origin. In the latter case, they are produced by microscopic organisms such as cyanobacteria.

The two most common compounds are geosmin and 2-methylisoborneol (MIB).  Geosmin, which has an earthy smell, is often produced by planktonic cyanobacteria (suspended in water). MIB, which has a musty smell, is most often produced in biofilm developing on rocks, aquatic plants and sediment. These compounds are detected by human olfactory cells at very low concentrations, even in the range of a few parts per trillion (ppt, or ng/l).

Conventional water treatment methods typically cannot remove MIB and geosmin to below their taste and odour thresholds, which leads to the use of activated carbon for this application.  A common method of employment is with powdered activated carbon (PAC), which is dosed into the water stream on a seasonal basis to control taste & odour issues.  Most commonly, a predominantly mesoporous activated carbon, such as Jacobi’s AquaSorb™ CB1-MW, provides the best performance in this application.   Test data has demonstrated effective MIB and geosmin reduction using this product:

GeosminTo learn more about Jacobi’s offerings for taste and odour control, please contact your Jacobi sales representative or visit our ‘contact us’ page.