Characteristics of molecular weight distribution of dissolved organic matter in bromide-containing water and disinfection by-product formation properties during treatment processes

Ying Zhang , Ning Zhang , Peng Zhao , Zhiguang Niu


Received December 17, 2016,Revised March 08, 2017, Accepted March 08, 2017, Available online March 17, 2017

Volume 30,2018,Pages 179-189

The characteristics of dissolved organic matter (DOM) and bromide ion concentration have a significant influence on the formation of disinfection by-products (DBPs). In order to identify the main DBP precursors, DOM was divided into five fractions based on molecular weight (MW), trihalomethane formation potential and haloacetic acid formation potential were determined for fractions, and the change in contents of different fractions and total DBPs during treatment processes (pre-chlorination, coagulation, sand filtration, disinfection) were studied. Moreover, the relationship between bromide concentration and DBP generation characteristics in processes was also analyzed. The results showed that the main DBP precursors were the fraction with MW < 1 kDa and fraction with MW 3−10 kDa, and the DBP's generation ability of lower molecular weight DOM (< 10 kDa) was higher than that of higher molecular weight DOM. During different processes, pre-chlorination and disinfection had limited effect on removing organics but could alter the MW distribution, and coagulation and filtration could effectively remove organics with higher MW. For DBPs, trihalomethanes (THMs) were mainly generated in pre-chlorination and disinfection, while haloacetic acids (HAAs) were mostly generated during pre-chlorination; coagulation and sand filtration had little effect on THMs but resulted in a slight removal of HAAs. In addition, the results of ANOVA tests suggested that molecular sizes and treatment processes have significant influence on DBP formation. With increasing bromide concentration, the brominated DBPs significantly increased, but the bromine incorporation factor in the processes was basically consistent at each concentration.

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