2-Methylisoborneol and geosmin uptake by organic sludge derived from a recirculating aquaculture system

Lior Guttman, Jaap van Rijn*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


In a previous study on a recirculating fish culture system, levels of geosmin and 2-methylisoborneol were found to decrease when culture water was recirculated through the anaerobic sludge digestion treatment stage of the system. This finding led us to the present study in which the geosmin and 2-methylisoborneol removal capacity of the sludge derived from this treatment stage was examined in vitro. It was found that reduction of off-flavor compounds by the sludge was mediated by both chemical/physical sorption and biological degradation. At geosmin and 2-methylisoborneol concentrations within the range of those experienced in fish culture systems, chemical/physical sorption by the sludge was found to account for a 93% reduction in geosmin and a 79% reduction in 2-methylisoborneol from the overlying water within 48 h of incubation. Combined with the biological degradation taking place in the sludge, a complete removal of these compounds from the water phase occurred within 9 days of incubation. By means of repeated washing of the geosmin and 2-methylisoborneol contaminate sludge with clean water, relatively small amounts of these compounds were released from the sludge, a possible indication for the fact that absorption, rather than adsorption, underlies the chemical/physical removal process.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)474-480
Number of pages7
JournalWater Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2009


  • 2-Methylisoborneol
  • Aquaculture
  • Biological degradation
  • Chemical/physical sorption
  • Geosmin
  • Sludge


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