An evaluation of the mobility of organic pollutants with wastewater dissolved organic matter (DOM) is essential to better understanding their fate and toxicity to the environment. In this study, DOM from two wastewater treatment plants (in Lachish and Netanya, Israel) were fractionated to hydrophobic-acid (HoA) and hydrophobic-neutral (HoN) fractions. The fractions were characterised and their sorptive capabilities for s-triazine herbicides and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) were studied. For all sorbates, binding to the HoN fractions was much higher than to HoA fractions. The high binding coefficients obtained for the studied triazines by the HoN fractions suggested that their sorption is governed by hydrophobic-like interactions rather than H-bonding. The binding coefficients of PAHs measured for the HoN fractions were within the range reported for humic acids and much higher than for the HoA fraction, suggesting that the HoN fraction plays an important role in the overall sorption of these compounds by DOM. Higher sorption coefficients were measured for the Netanya DOM sample containing a higher level of hydrophobic fractions (HoA + HoN) than the Lachish DOM, suggesting that the sorption of hydrophobic organic compounds by DOM is governed by the relative content of these structural substances.

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