Characteristics in dissolved organic matter and disinfection by-product formation during advanced treatment processes of municipal secondary effluent with Orbitrap mass spectrometry.Chemosphere. 2023 Oct; 339:139725.C
Dissolved organic matter (DOM) is reported to be a precursor to disinfection by-products (DBPs), which have adverse effects on human health. Therefore, it is crucial to effectively remove DOM before water disinfection. Characteristics of DOM and DBPs formation during advanced treatment processes including coagulation, adsorption, ultraviolet (UV) irradiation, and ozone (O3) oxidation in municipal secondary effluent were investigated in this research. DOM was characterized by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), excitation-emission matrix fluorescence spectroscopy (EEM), and Orbitrap mass spectrometry (Orbitrap MS). Moreover, DBPs formation potential under different advanced treatment processes was also discussed. FTIR results indicated that various functional groups existing in DOM may react with the disinfectant to form toxic DBPs. EEM analysis indicated that DOM in all water samples was dominated by soluble microbial product-like (SMPs) and humic acid-like (HA) substances. The municipal secondary effluent was abundant with DOM and rich in carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen atoms, contained a certain dosage of phosphorus and sulfur atoms, and the highest proportion is lignin. Most of the precursors (CHO features) had positive double bond equivalent subtracted oxygen per carbon [(DBE-O)/C] and negative carbon oxidation state (Cos) in all four different advanced treatment processes. DBPs formation potential (DBPFP) of coagulation, adsorption, UV irradiation, and O3 oxidation advanced treatment processes were 487 μg L[-1], 586 μg L[-1], 597 μg L[-1], and 308 μg L[-1], respectively. And the DBPs precursors removal efficiency of coagulation, adsorption, UV irradiation, and O3 oxidation advanced treatment processes were 50.8%, 40.8%, 39.8%, and 69.0%, respectively. This study provides in-depth insights into the changes of DOM in municipal secondary effluent at the molecular level and the removal efficiency of DBPs precursors during coagulation, adsorption, UV irradiation, and O3 oxidation advanced treatment processes.