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Water Res. 2015 Jun 15;77:213-248. doi: 10.1016/j.watres.2015.03.011. Epub 2015 Mar 24.

Dissolved effluent organic matter: Characteristics and potential implications in wastewater treatment and reuse applications.

Author information

1
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Nireas-International Water Research Centre, School of Engineering, University of Cyprus, P.O. Box 20537, 1678 Nicosia, Cyprus.
2
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Nireas-International Water Research Centre, School of Engineering, University of Cyprus, P.O. Box 20537, 1678 Nicosia, Cyprus; Environmental Engineering and Science Program, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH 45221-0071, USA.
3
US EPA, Office of Research and Development, 26 W, Martin Luther King Drive, Cincinnati, OH 45268, USA.
4
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Nireas-International Water Research Centre, School of Engineering, University of Cyprus, P.O. Box 20537, 1678 Nicosia, Cyprus. Electronic address: dfatta@ucy.ac.cy.

Abstract

Wastewater reuse is currently considered globally as the most critical element of sustainable water management. The dissolved effluent organic matter (dEfOM) present in biologically treated urban wastewater, consists of a heterogeneous mixture of refractory organic compounds with diverse structures and varying origin, including dissolved natural organic matter, soluble microbial products, endocrine disrupting compounds, pharmaceuticals and personal care products residues, disinfection by-products, metabolites/transformation products and others, which can reach the aquatic environment through discharge and reuse applications. dEfOM constitutes the major fraction of the effluent organic matter (EfOM) and due to its chemical complexity, it is necessary to utilize a battery of complementary techniques to adequately describe its structural and functional character. dEfOM has been shown to exhibit contrasting effects towards various aquatic organisms. It decreases metal uptake, thus potentially reducing their bioavailability to exposed organisms. On the other hand, dEfOM can be adsorbed on cell membranes inducing toxic effects. This review paper evaluates the performance of various advanced treatment processes (i.e., membrane filtration and separation processes, activated carbon adsorption, ion-exchange resin process, and advanced chemical oxidation processes) in removing dEfOM from wastewater effluents. In general, the literature findings reveal that dEfOM removal by advanced treatment processes depends on the type and the amount of organic compounds present in the aqueous matrix, as well as the operational parameters and the removal mechanisms taking place during the application of each treatment technology.

KEYWORDS:

Biological effects; Dissolved effluent organic matter; Effluent organic matter; Metal complexation; Toxicity; Wastewater treatment and reuse

PMID:
25917290
DOI:
10.1016/j.watres.2015.03.011
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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