Kinetics and Transformations of Diverse Dissolved Organic Matter Fractions with Sulfate Radicals

Xin Lei, Yu Lei, Jingmeng Guan, Paul Westerhoff, Xin Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations


Dissolved organic matter (DOM) scavenges sulfate radicals (SO4•-), and SO4•--induced DOM transformations influence disinfection byproduct (DBP) formation when chlorination follows advanced oxidation processes (AOPs) used for pollutant destruction during water and wastewater treatment. Competition kinetics experiments and transient kinetics experiments were conducted in the presence of 19 DOM fractions. Second-order reaction rate constants for DOM reactions with SO4•-(kDOM,SO4•-) ranged from (6.38 ± 0.53) × 106M-1s-1to (3.68 ± 0.34) × 107MC-1s-1. kDOM,SO4•-correlated with specific absorbance at 254 nm (SUVA254) (R2= 0.78) or total antioxidant capacity (R2= 0.78), suggesting that DOM with more aromatics and antioxidative moieties reacted faster with SO4•-. SO4•-exposure activated DBP precursors and increased carbonaceous DBP (C-DBP) yields (e.g., trichloromethane, chloral hydrate, and 1,1,1-trichloropropanone) in humic acid and fulvic acid DOM fractions despite the great reduction in their organic carbon, chromophores, and fluorophores. Conversely, SO4•--induced reactions reduced nitrogenous DBP yields (e.g., dichloroacetonitrile and trichloronitromethane) in wastewater effluent organic matter and algal organic matter without forming more C-DBP precursors. DBP formation as a function of SO4•-exposure (concentration × time) provides guidance on optimization strategies for SO4•--based AOPs in realistic water matrices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4457-4466
Number of pages10
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Apr 5 2022


  • advanced oxidation processes (AOPs)
  • disinfection byproducts (DBPs)
  • dissolved organic matter (DOM)
  • sulfate radicals

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • Environmental Chemistry


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