Transformation of Molecular Weight Distributions of Dissolved Organic Carbon and UV-Absorbing Compounds at Full-Scale Wastewater-Treatment Plants
Abstract:The molecular-weight distribution (MWD) of wastewater dissolved-organic carbon (DOC) was determined in samples from seven full-scale wastewater-treatment plants (WWTPs) that use different biological treatments (air activated sludge [air-AS], pure-oxygen AS [O 2-AS], and trickling filters). The research objective was to determine how different biological treatments influenced the MWD of wastewater DOC. Primary sedimentation effluent DOC from most of the WWTPs exhibited a skewed distribution toward the low-molecular-weight fraction (MWF) (40 to 50%, <0.5 K Daltons [KDa]). The Air-AS effluent DOC exhibited a centrally clustered distribution, with the majority of DOC in the intermediate MWF (0.5 to 3 KDa). The O 2-AS effluent DOC exhibited a skewed distribution toward the high MWF (>3 KDa). The removal of DOC by air- and O 2-AS bacteria followed trends predicted by a macromolecule degradation model. Trickling-filter effluent DOC exhibited a skewed distribution toward the high MWF (50% DOC, >3 KDa).
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: March 1, 2006
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