A critical review on characterization strategies of organic matter for wastewater and water treatment processes

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Bioresource Technology, 2018, 193
Issue Date:
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© 2015 Elsevier Ltd. The presence of organic matter (OM) in raw wastewater, treated wastewater effluents, and natural water samples has been known to cause many problems in wastewater treatment and water reclamation processes, such as treatability, membrane fouling, and the formation of potentially toxic by-products during wastewater treatment. This paper summarizes the current knowledge on the methods for characterization and quantification of OM in water samples in relation to wastewater and water treatment processes including: (i) characterization based on the biodegradability; (ii) characterization based on particle size distribution; (iii) fractionation based on the hydrophilic/hydrophobic properties; (iv) characterization based on the molecular weight (MW) size distribution; and (v) characterization based on fluorescence excitation emission matrix. In addition, the advantages, disadvantages and applications of these methods are discussed in detail. The establishment of correlations among biodegradability, hydrophobic/hydrophilic fractions, MW size distribution of OM, membrane fouling and formation of toxic by-products potential is highly recommended for further studies.
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