Chemosphere ( IF 5.778 ) Pub Date : 2020-09-14 , DOI: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2020.128278 Phanwatt Phungsai; Futoshi Kurisu; Ikuro Kasuga; Hiroaki Furumai
Isolation of complex dissolved organic matter (DOM) from environmental water is a major challenge for unknown screening analysis by high-resolution mass spectrometry. In this study, DOM in process water during advanced drinking water treatment was fractionated sequentially by three solid-phase extraction (SPE) cartridges based on the polarity and charge of DOM molecules. By sequential SPE with unknown screening analysis, over 3000 DOM features were found in raw water, whereas around 2000 were obtained by a single SPE. The hydrophobic neutral (HPON) fraction contained CHO features with highest averaged molecular weight followed by hydrophobic acid (HPOA) and then hydrophilic acid (HPIA). The average degree of carbon double bond equivalents and carbon oxidation states indicated that the HPON fraction contained molecules that were more unsaturated and less oxidized than those of the HPOA and HPIA fractions. Ozone selectively decomposed (1) more unsaturated and less oxidized HPON features, (2) more unsaturated HPOA compounds, and (3) less oxidized HPIA molecules. Oxidation by-products were mostly HPON and HPIA compounds that were more oxidized than the decomposed molecules. During biological activated carbon (BAC) filtration, less oxidized HPON were preferentially removed, whereas HPOA were removed without selectivity. HPON and HPIA molecules with more oxidized character were found to be refractory to BAC treatment. HPON with more unsaturated and HPIA with more oxidized characters were decomposed by chlorine. Many types of HPIA decomposed during chlorination were the oxidation by-products of ozonation that were refractory to BAC treatment. Sequential SPE with unknown screening analysis provided previously unknown details of the molecular characteristics of DOM and its changes during advanced water treatment.