Effect of chemical oxidation on the sorption tendency of dissolved organic matter to a model hydrophobic surface

Teng Zeng, Corey J. Wilson, William A. Mitch

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36 Scopus citations


The application of chemical oxidants may alter the sorption properties of dissolved organic matter (DOM), such as humic and fulvic acids, proteins, polysaccharides, and lipids, affecting their fate in water treatment processes, including attachment to other organic components, activated carbon, and membranes (e.g., organic fouling). Similar reactions with chlorine (HOCl) and bromine (HOBr) produced at inflammatory sites in vivo affect the fate of biomolecules (e.g., protein aggregation). In this study, quartz crystal microbalance with dissipation monitoring (QCM-D) was used to evaluate changes in the noncovalent interactions of proteins, polysaccharides, fatty acids, and humic and fulvic acids with a model hydrophobic surface as a function of increasing doses of HOCl, HOBr, and ozone (O3). All three oxidants enhanced the sorption tendency of proteins to the hydrophobic surface at low doses but reduced their sorption tendency at high doses. All three oxidants reduced the sorption tendency of polysaccharides and fatty acids to the hydrophobic surface. HOCl and HOBr increased the sorption tendency of humic and fulvic acids to the hydrophobic surface with maxima at moderate doses, while O3 decreased their sorption tendency. The behavior observed with two water samples was similar to that observed with humic and fulvic acids, pointing to the importance of these constituents. For chlorination, the highest sorption tendency to the hydrophobic surface was observed within the range of doses typically applied during water treatment. These results suggest that ozone pretreatment would minimize membrane fouling by DOM, while chlorine pretreatment would promote DOM removal by activated carbon.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5118-5126
Number of pages9
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Issue number9
StatePublished - May 6 2014
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • Environmental Chemistry


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