Integrated Characterization of Organic Matter for Water Treatment Optimization

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Webinar Description

The effectiveness of all water and wastewater treatment processes is impacted by organic matter. No single treatment method can remove all the types of organic carbon present in these waters, and methods of improved characterization of organic matter are therefore needed at various stages of water and wastewater treatment. While surrogate measures of UVA254, total and dissolved organic carbon (TOC/DOC), and chemical oxygen demand (COD) indicate trends, they inadequately portray the character and composition of the organic matter removed and/or transformed at each treatment stage or reuse process.

Advanced instrumentation drives organic matter characterization in water and wastewater treatability. A suite of HORIBA instruments is used at the Brown and Caldwell Water Treatability Laboratory in Nashville, Tennessee to characterize aqueous organic matter. Excitation-emission matrix fluorescence spectroscopy (EEM) combined with PARAllel FACtor (PARAFAC) analyses, zeta-potential determination, and particle size distribution measured with dynamic light scattering (DLS) and laser diffraction (LD) techniques are applied to monitor diagenetic (degraded and rearranged fulvic and humic acids) and biogenic forms of organic carbon. The supramolecular aggregation of nonliving organic matter which complicates water treatability and its analytical measurement, and examples of these techniques will be presented.

Drs. Katherine Y. Bell, (Director of Water Strategy), and Martha J.M. Wells (Chemical Consultant to Brown and Caldwell) will co-present this webinar. Kati will provide an overview of water treatment at Brown and Caldwell and what services are offered. Martha will provide the fundamentals of the technologies applied and a discussion of our current understanding of organic matter aggregation in water.

What you will learn:

  • Application of EEM-PARAFAC, zeta-potential, DLS, and LD to water treatability studies

  • Fundamentals of using these modes of advanced instrumentation

  • Conceptual understanding of environmentally relevant aggregates of aqueous organic matter

Who would benefit from attending:

  • Water quality lab managers, engineers, chemists, water treatment plant operators, academic researchers, and graduate students who are interested in water quality topics.