A new technique has been developed to quickly monitor the changes in polarity of aqueous natural organic matter (NOM) using solid-phase extraction (SPE) cartridges. This paper introduces the NOM polarity rapid assessment method (PRAM). The PRAM technique characterizes changes in NOM polarity by monitoring the breakthrough curves from different SPE cartridges at UV254. The SPE cartridges used in this study include a wide range of polarity from non-polar C-18 materials to anion exchangers. Each individual cartridge run takes 10 minutes and requires about 15 ml of sample. The collected water sample matrix is not changed, i.e. all PRAM analyses were done under ambient conditions on the original sample. Polarity evaluation is completed without the sample being exposed to changes in sample conditions, such as pH, solvent extraction, sequential evaporations or freeze-drying. This technique was able to monitor the weekly changes in NOM polarity entering a water treatment plant and compares the effects of different water treatment processes on this material.
- Natural organic matter (NOM)
- polarity rapid assessment method (PRAM)
- solid-phase extraction (SPE)
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