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Acid characteristics of dissolved organic matter in wastewater

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The presence of dissolved organic matter (DOM) in a wastewater treatment system can significantly affect the uptake of heavy metals by sludge particulates. The characteristics of DOM, its concentration, and the solution pH are important parameters governing the heavy metals uptake reaction. The characteristics of DOM of various wastewater and sludge (primary, secondary, and tertiary) samples collected from four municipal wastewater treatment plants were investigated. Results showed that the dissolution of DOM from sludge is significantly affected by pH and suspended solids concentration. Results also showed that DOM contains two discrete acid groups that are available for metals complexation. The site concentration and acidity constants were determined by an alkalimetric titration method. For all DOM samples studied, the acidity constants, pKab and pKaB , were 5.3 and 9.5, respectively. Based on the acidity constants and the Fourier transform infrared spectra, it is believed that the acid sites consist of carboxylic and amino functional groups. The density of the first acid site was approximately 10−5 mol/mg chemical oxygen demand for all samples studied. However, the density of the second acid site varied significantly among the DOM samples investigated.


Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2175/106143098X123372

Publication date: July 1, 1998

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  • Water Environment Research® (WER®) publishes peer-reviewed research papers, research notes, state-of-the-art and critical reviews on original, fundamental and applied research in all scientific and technical areas related to water quality, pollution control, and management. An annual Literature Review provides a review of published books and articles on water quality topics from the previous year.

    Published as: Sewage Works Journal, 1928 - 1949; Sewage and Industrial Wastes, 1950 - 1959; Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, 1959 - Oct 1989; Research Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, Nov 1989 - 1991; Water Environment Research, 1992 - present.
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