Evaluation of Powdered Activated Carbon for Control of Taste and Odors Caused by Geosmin

Anthony Joe Rodriguez, University of Texas at El Paso


The primary sources of taste and odor problems associated with surface water supplies spawn from algae and bacterial blooms that secrete odorous chemicals such as Geosmin and MIB. These musty, odorous, organic compounds are usually detectable by the human nose at concentrations of 5 to 10 ppt and can create considerable concern by consumers that can lead to complaints and misconceptions of odors as a water quality problem. Typically, since chemical or ozone treatment can be costly, activated carbon (powdered or granular) is generally employed in the process of removing organic compounds, such as Geosmin and MIB. The research presented here is an evaluation of powdered activated carbon (PAC) for control of taste and odors caused by Geosmin. The project was directed toward: (1) evaluating odor detection limits of Geosmin, (2) determining the PAC dosage and thresholds required for eliminating odor problems, (4) identifying the most effective PAC to use between selected brands, and (5) developing an Adsorption Isotherm to quantify the effective PAC dosage required for the removal of Geosmin at certain concentrations.

Subject Area

Environmental engineering

Recommended Citation

Rodriguez, Anthony Joe, "Evaluation of Powdered Activated Carbon for Control of Taste and Odors Caused by Geosmin" (2018). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI10823173.