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Feasibility of bubble surface modification for natural organic matter removal from river water using dissolved air flotation

Shi, Yulong, Yang, Jiaxuan, Ma, Jun, Luo, Congwei
Frontiers of environmental science & engineering 2017 v.11 no.6 pp. 10
adsorption, air, chitosan, disinfection, haloacetic acids, hydrophilicity, hydrophobicity, microbubbles, molecular weight, organic matter, pH, polymers, surfactants
A novel, functionalized bubble surface can be obtained in dissolved air flotation (DAF) by dosing chemicals in the saturator. In this study, different cationic chemicals were used as bubble surface modifiers, and their effects on natural organic matter (NOM) removal from river water were investigated. NOM in the samples was fractionated based on molecular weight and hydrophobicity. The disinfection byproduct formation potentials of each fraction and their removal efficiencies were also evaluated. The results showed that chitosan was the most promising bubble modifier compared with a surfactant and a synthetic polymer. Tiny bubbles in the DAF pump system facilitated the adsorption of chitosan onto microbubble surfaces. The hydrophobic NOM fraction was preferentially removed by chitosan-modified bubbles. Decreasing the recycle water pH from 7.0 to 5.5 improved the removal of hydrophilic NOM with low molecular weight. Likewise, hydrophilic organic compounds gave high dihaloacetic acid yields in raw water. An enhanced reduction of haloacetic acid precursors was obtained with recycle water at pH values of 5.5 and 4.0. The experimental results indicate that NOM fractions may interact with bubbles through different mechanisms. Positive bubble modification provides an alternative approach for DAF to enhance NOM removal.