Dissolved organic matter (DOM) is a mixture of compounds that are found ubiquitously in natural waters. The characterization of DOM is important in order to understand its effect on environmental processes and during treatment systems. Of all the properties usually measured with relation to DOM, the polarity is of critical importance since it will directly influence different processes. Recently, a new method has been developed for the characterization of DOM under ambient conditions, called the Polar Rapid Assessment Method (PRAM). The PRAM allows characterization and temporal and spatial comparisons under environmentally relevant conditions of pH and ionic strength. This study first modifies the PRAM method to 3 probes for high sample throughput by using a subset of the SPE sorbents to interpret DOM polarity by DOC and UV detection. Then the modified PRAM is compared to the XAD resin polarity method and finds a similarity in hydrophobic assessment but different results for the hydrophilic DOM. This study then evaluates the use of PRAM as a tool to evaluate water treatment processes and the character of size fractions of DOM. The PRAM is shown to be a very useful tool to evaluate and thus optimize treatment efficiency and removal of DOM.
- natural water
- polarity of DOM
- polar rapid assessment method
- treated water
- © IWA Publishing 2008