Characterization of algal organic matter and formation of DBPs from chlor(am)ination.

Research paper by Jingyun J Fang, Xin X Yang, Jun J Ma, Chii C Shang, Quan Q Zhao

Indexed on: 28 Aug '10Published on: 28 Aug '10Published in: Water Research


The frequent occurrence of algal blooms in drinking water reservoirs causes problems to water supply, one of which is the release of algal organic matter in high concentrations to affect drinking water quality. Algal organic matter, including extracellular organic matter (EOM) and intracellular organic matter (IOM), was characterized. The formation of a variety of disinfection by-products (DBPs) in chlorination and chloramination of EOM, IOM and algal cells was evaluated. Natural organic matter (NOM) isolated from Suwannee River was also studied for comparison. EOM and IOM were rich in organic nitrogen, which consisted of high (over 10 kDa) and low (70-1000 Da) molecular weight (MW) organic matter, whilst the MW of organic carbon in EOM and IOM was relatively lower. IOM had a higher fraction of total organic nitrogen, with larger proportions of higher MW and more hydrophobic contents than did EOM. IOM also contained higher fractions of free amino acids but lower fractions of aliphatic amines than did EOM. During chlorination of EOM and IOM, organic chloramines were first formed and then became undetectable after 1 d. Chlorination of EOM and IOM produced more nitrogenous DBPs (N-DBPs) and haloaldehydes and less carbonaceous DBPs (C-DBPs) than did chlorination of NOM. Organic chloramines were found after 3-d chloramination of EOM and IOM. The amounts of N-DBPs and C-DBPs formed from chloramination of EOM or IOM were much less than that from NOM. EOM produced less DBPs (except for trichloronitromethane) than did IOM and algal cells in chlorination and chloramination.