Sorption processes

Sorption is a physicochemical process in which all sorts of forces are used to bind certain types of contamination to the surface of the filter material used. The most commonly used filter material is activated carbon. This is used to remove non-polar substances such as organic pollutants (e.g., specific-odour-forming) or for the dechlorination of treated water.

Other sorption materials are specially treated hydrated oxides and hydroxides of iron, which are capable of adsorbing heavy metals (for instance, arsenic) and other dissolved inorganic contaminants. Special sorbent materials that are capable of removing specific pollutants such as uranium from the water are also used.

These processes are also widely used in the field of sanitation and in the treatment of contaminated ground or surface water.