The behaviour of polar, biochemically non-degradable organic compounds in waste waters dominated by textile waste water is followed in the waste water treatment process by means of substance-specific mass-spectrometric detection. Selected polar compounds of anthropogenic and biogenic origin are identified by tandem mass spectrometry. Oxidation by ozone (O3) and O3/UV respectively is carried out to increase the biochemical degradability. Compared to biochemically pretreated waste water the biochemical degradability of O3-treated waste water was tripled, but the sample treated by O3/UV showed complete inhibition. Comparing the contents detected by MS it is impossible to find any reason for this inhibition.
Some of the compounds developing during the oxidation process are characterized by selective MS/MS methods.
Untreated waste waters and those treated by biochemical or chemical-physical procedures are examined with help of biotoxicity tests. Here waste water treated by O3 and O3/UV respectively showed higher toxicity than untreated or biochemically treated waste water.