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Water Res. 2015 Apr 1;72:381-90. doi: 10.1016/j.watres.2014.11.023. Epub 2014 Nov 26.

Characteristics of C-, N-DBPs formation from algal organic matter: role of molecular weight fractions and impacts of pre-ozonation.

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State Key Laboratory of Pollution Control and Resource Reuse, Tongji University, Shanghai 200092, China.
State Key Laboratory of Pollution Control and Resource Reuse, Tongji University, Shanghai 200092, China; China Academy of Urban Planning & Design, Beijing 100037, China. Electronic address:


Extracellular organic matter (EOM) and intracellular organic matter (IOM) of Microcystis aeruginosa have been reported to contribute to the formation of carbonaceous disinfection by-products (C-DBPs) and nitrogenous disinfection by-products (N-DBPs). Little is known about DBPs formation from different molecular weight (MW) fractions, especially for N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA). This study fractionated EOM and IOM into several MW fractions using a series of ultrafiltration membranes and is the first to report on the C-DBPs and N-DBPs formation from chlorination and chloramination of different MW fractions. Results showed that EOM and IOM were mainly distributed in low-MW (<1 KDa) and high-MW (>100 KDa) fractions. Additionally, the low-MW and high-MW fractions of EOM and IOM generally took an important part in forming C-DBPs and N-DBPs, either in chlorination or in chloramination. Furthermore, the effects of pre-ozonation on the formation of DBPs in subsequent chlorination and chloramination were also investigated. It was found that ozone shifted the high-MW fractions of EOM and IOM into lower MW fractions and increased the C-DBPs and N-DBPs yields to different degrees. As low-MW fractions are more difficult to remove than high-MW fractions by conventional treatment processes, therefore, activated carbon adsorption, nanofiltration (NF) and biological treatment processes can be ideal to remove the low-MW fractions and minimize the formation potential of C-DBPs and N-DBPs. Moreover, the use of ozone should be carefully considered in the treatment of algal-rich water.


Disinfection byproducts; Extracellular organic matter; Intracellular organic matter; N-nitrosodimethlamine (NDMA); Pre-ozonation

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