Dissolved organic matter (DOM) influences many aspects of drinking water treatment, including the formation of harmful disinfection by-products (DBPs) when disinfectants are applied. DOM was isolated and fractionated using membrane ultra-filtration (UF) and reverse osmosis (RO) to eight individual fractions based on molecular weight cut-offs from a conventional surface water treatment plant (WTP) in Guangzhou of PR China. Molecular weights of these eight fractions were further calibrated using high performance size exclusion chromatography (HPSEC) and they ranged from 0.36 to 182.6 kDa. Fractions with molecular weight <0.80 kDa obtained by YC-05 UF membrane and RO were the major ones in all four stages of the water treatment processes; both ZM-500 and YM-100 membranes showed the highest removal efficiency when coupling with conventional coagulation and sedimentation processes. The elemental analysis showed that YC-05 fraction had greater polarity and aromaticity than any of the others. Furthermore, disinfection characteristics and trihalomethane formation potential (THMFP) were determined for all DOM fractions obtained in this study. YC-05 fraction was the major precursor for trihalomethane (THMs) formation among the samples tested and could be removed effectively by particulate activated carbon (PAC) adsorption. RO fraction could not be removed by PAC adsorption and, as a result, consumed more chlorine in the disinfection process. The results suggested that advanced drinking water treatment should focus on the removal of low molecular weight DOM in the source water.
- Chlorine consumption
- Disinfection by-products
- Dissolved organic matter (DOM)
- Drinking water
- Reverse osmosis