Screening of new adsorbents to remove algal organic matter from aqueous solutions: kinetic analyses and reduction of disinfection by-products formation

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The algal organic matter (AOM) is a problem in water treatment. Although the adsorption process is extensively applied to drinking water treatment, little information is known about the potential of new adsorbents to remove AOM. Herein, this work evaluated the removal of AOM and its main compounds (dissolved organic carbon (DOC), carbohydrate, and protein) by new adsorbents—mesoporous silica (SBA-16), graphene oxide material from citric acid (CA), and sugar (SU), and a composite of CA immobilized on sand (GSC). In general, the removal efficiencies followed the order of SBA-16 > CA > SU or GSC for DOC, carbohydrate, and protein. At environmental condition (5 mg DOC·L−1 and pH 8), high removals were reported for SBA-16 (88.8% DOC, 80.0% carbohydrate, and 99.6% protein) and CA (70.0% DOC, 66.7% carbohydrate, and 89.7% protein), while moderate removals were found for SU (60.5% DOC, 47.9% carbohydrate, and 66.5% protein) and GSC (67.4% DOC, 60.8% carbohydrate, and 57.4% protein). Based on these results, further analyses were done with SBA-16 and CA. Both adsorbents’ efficiencies decayed with the pH increment of the test water. Disinfection by-products reductions found using SBA-16 — trihalomethanes (58.2 to 94.7%) and chloral hydrate (48.7 to 78.8%) — were higher than the ones using CA—trihalomethanes (45.2 to 82.4%) and chloral hydrate (40.1 to 70.8%). This study showed the potential of applying these adsorbents for AOM removal, and further investigations are suggested to increase the adsorption capacity of these adsorbents. Graphical abstract: [Figure not available: see fulltext.].




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Environmental Science and Pollution Research.

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