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Effect of UV wavelength on humic acid degradation and disinfection by-product formation during the UV/chlorine process

Gao, Ze-Chen, Lin, Yi-Li, Xu, Bin, Xia, Ying, Hu, Chen-Yan, Zhang, Tian-Yang, Cao, Tong-Cheng, Chu, Wen-Hai, Gao, Nai-Yun
Water research 2019 v.154 pp. 199-209
absorbance, byproducts, chlorine, cytotoxicity, disinfection, humic acids, lamps, light emitting diodes, oxidation, pH, photolysis, synergism, ultraviolet radiation, wavelengths
The efficiency of the ultraviolet (UV)/chlorine process strongly depends on UV wavelength because chlorine photolysis and its subsequent radical formation are highly wavelength-dependent. This study compared the degradation of humic acid (HA) during the UV/chlorine process by low pressure mercury lamp (LPUV, 254 nm) and ultraviolet light-emitting diode (UV-LED, 275 and 310 nm). The results indicated that HA degradation followed the pseudo-first-order kinetics, and the fluence-based degradation rate constants (kobs) were significantly affected by UV wavelength and solution pH. HA degradation decreased greatly with increasing solution pH during the UV/chlorine process at 254 nm, while the opposite trend was observed at 275 and 310 nm. In the meantime, kobs decreased in the order of 275 nm > 254 nm > 310 nm at pH > 7.0. The changes of chlorine molar absorption coefficients at different UV wavelengths resulted in the variation of chlorine photodecay rates (kobs, chlorine), and the synergistic effects of kobs, chlorine and chlorine quantum yields (Φchlorine) affected HA reduction. The formation of disinfection by-products (DBPs) during the UV/chlorine process was also evaluated. A significant suppression on DBP formation and DBP-associated calculated theoretical cytotoxicity were observed at 275 nm high UV fluence and alkaline pHs. These findings in this study demonstrate that UV wavelength at 275 nm is more suitable for HA degradation by the UV/chlorine advanced oxidation process in practical applications.