Anne M. Piekarski

University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth

Civil Engineering


Mentor: M. Robin Collins - Associate Professor of Civil Engineering

Exploratory Investigation of Resins Ability to Fractionate Natural Organic Matter

Natural organic matter is the principle organic precursor of disinfection by-products (DBPs), formed during chlorine disinfection in drinking water treatment. The removal of natural organic matter before chlorination occurs is vital, since many of these DBPs are suspected carcinogens. Dissolved organic carbon (DOC), is a type of natural organic matter which is found in practically every body of water, and may be separated into six different categories. The categories are hydrophobic acids, bases, and neutrals, and hydrophilic acids, bases and neutrals.

For nearly two decades research has been conducted on ways to fractionate these six categories of DOC for removal. Throughout this project, hypotheses were made concerning which resin materials were expected to remove and isolate certain fractions of DOC. The synthetic resins which were used were grouped according to their nonionic, anionic, or cationic characteristics. Hypotheses were evaluated by pumping known hydrophobic and hydrophilic compounds through each resin, and examining their destinations. The results gathered will be beneficial to researchers and practitioners who must chose which type of treatment technique to use, in order to optimize organic precursors removal.

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