The application of fluorescence spectroscopy to organic matter characterisation in drinking water treatment
Bridgeman, John; Bieroza, Magdalena; Baker, Andy
Key to effective disinfection byproduct (DBP) management is source water control and management, and more specifically, organic matter (OM) control and management. However, the content and character of OM in source waters is spatially and temporally variable, and the prediction of its composition is challenging. Water treatment companies require adequate analytical techniques for OM characterisation to maintain the operation of the water supply and treatment systems adjusted to constantly changing environmental conditions. There is a requirement, therefore, for an improved understanding of OM composition and character in source water, how that composition and character varies with flow conditions, and how this impacts on drinking water treatment. This paper demonstrates that fluorescence spectroscopy offers a potential alternative to other analytical methods of OM characterisation. The advantages of fluorescence include rapid, sensitive and selective characterisation of OM, no sample pre-treatment, small sample volume, and the potential for on-line monitoring incorporation. Fluorescence can provide useful information on OM reactivity and treatability together with an indication of the OM sources (allochthonous or autochthonous). The paper discusses a body of literature which has identified relationships between fluorescence spectra and OM physico-chemical properties (i.e. degree of hydrophobicity, microbial content), has applied fluorescence spectroscopy to characterise the changes in OM upon disinfection, and has related the fluorescence properties to DBP formation. Further work is required in the robust management of data arising from fluorescence spectroscopy analysis and, in particular, Excitation Emission Matrices. Consideration must be given as to how the data might best be employed to greatest effect on a routine basis at WTW.
Fluorescence spectroscopy; Excitation emission matrix (EEM); Disinfection byproducts; Organic matter
Reviews in Environmental Science and Biotechnology
2011, Volume: 10, number: 3, pages: 277-290
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