The most important variables in designing carbon treatment systems are the contact time and the carbon usage rate, both of which depend on the flow rate, type of contaminant, and influent and effluent concentrations. The contact time is the time allowed for the pollutant to react with the carbon exterior and enter and react with the surface of the interior pores. The contact time is the result of dividing the volume of carbon by the flow rate. The carbon usage rate is the result of dividing the volume of carbon online by the volume of water treated when the required effluent concentration is exceeded (i.e., breakpoint).
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