A method that would allow for fast and reliable measurements of dissolved organic matter (DOM), both at low and high concentration levels would be a valuable tool for online monitoring of DOM. This could have applications in a variety of areas including membrane treatment systems for drinking water applications which is of interest to our group. In this study, the feasibility of using fluorescence spectroscopy for monitoring DOM at very low concentration levels was demonstrated with an emphasis on optimizing the instrument parameters necessary to obtain reproducible fluorescence signals. Signals were acquired using a cuvette or a fibre optic probe assembly, the latter which may have applications for on-line or in-line monitoring. The instrument parameters such as photomultiplier tube (PMT) voltage, scanning rate and slit width were studied in detail to find the optimum parameter settings required. The results showed that larger excitation and emission slit widths were preferred, over larger PMT voltage or lower scanning rates, to obtain reproducible and rapid measurements when measuring very low concentration levels of DOM. However, this approach should be implemented with caution to avoid any reduction of the signal resolution.

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