The aluminium toxicity is closely related to aluminium species. In this work aluminium was fractionated into seven forms: Al(T), Al(Sus), Al(C + S), Al(S), Al(C), Al(O) and Al(I). Four Al-based coagulants and simulated raw water were used in the laboratory to investigate the aluminium transformation in coagulation, sedimentation and filtration processes. It is the use of Al-based coagulants that contributes more to the increase of the residual aluminium for the low-turbidity raw water, while the Al-based coagulants, especially the polymeric aluminium coagulants, work to remove the aluminium from the high-turbidity raw water. In the case of traditional coagulants, the increase of the turbidity or the dissolved organic carbon (DOC) concentration in the raw water results in a high concentration of Al(C + S). The removal rate of aluminium species in the filtration process is not only related to its size: RAl(Sus) > RAl(C + S), RAl(C) > RAl(S), but also to the physicochemical properties of aluminium species and filter. For the kaolin-polyaluminium chloride system, a lower removal rate of aluminium species results is due to the complexation of humic acid and aluminium species.

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