Characterization of soluble microbial products as precursors of disinfection byproducts in drinking water supply

Jin lin Liu, Xiao yan Li, Yue feng Xie, Hao Tang

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41 Scopus citations


Water pollution by wastewater discharge can cause the problem of disinfection byproducts (DBPs) in drinking water supply. In this study, DBP formation characteristics of soluble microbial products (SMPs) as the main products of wastewater organic biodegradation were investigated. The results show that SMPs can act as DBP precursors in simulated wastewater biodegradation process. Under the experimental conditions, stabilized SMPs had DBPFP (DBP formation potential) yield of around 5.6μmolmmol-1-DOC (dissolved organic carbon) and DBP speciation profile different from that of the conventional precursor, natural organic matter (NOM). SMPs contained polysaccharides, proteins, and humic-like substances, and the latter two groups can act as reactive DBP precursors. SMP fraction with molecular weight of <1kDa accounted for 85% of the organic carbon and 65% of the DBP formation. As small SMP molecules are more difficult to remove by conventional water treatment processes, more efforts are needed to control wastewater-derived DBP problem in water resource management.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)818-824
Number of pages7
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Publication statusPublished - Feb 15 2014


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution

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