Advanced oxidation processes have been reported to have the potential to remove natural organic matter from source waters. Of these Fenton's reagent, photo-Fenton's reagent and titanium dioxide photocatalysis are the three most promising processes. Compared to conventional coagulation/flocculation processes they have higher removal efficiencies in terms of both dissolved organic carbon and UV254 absorbance. Under optimum reaction conditions all three remove over 80% dissolved organic carbon and 0% UV254 absorbance. In addition the enhanced removal of natural organic matter leads to a corresponding reduction in the formation of disinfection by-products following chlorination of the treated water. Advanced oxidation processes give enhanced removal of organic species ranging from low to high molecular weight while coagulation/flocculation is inefficient at removing low molecular weight species. One additional benefit is all three processes produce less residuals compared to conventional coagulation, which is advantageous as the disposal of such residuals normally contributes a large proportion of the costs at water treatment works.

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