Publication Details

Alexander, J. T., Hai, F. I. & Al-aboud, T. M. (2012). Chemical coagulation-based processes for trace organic contaminant removal: Current state and future potential. Journal of Environmental Management, 111 195-207.


Trace organic contaminants have become an increasing cause of concern for governments and water authorities as they attempt to respond to the potential challenges posed by climate change by implementing sustainable water cycle management practices. The augmentation of potable water supplies through indirect potable water reuse is one such method currently being employed. Given the uncertainty surrounding the potential human health impacts of prolonged ingestion of trace organic contaminants, it is vital that effective and sustainable treatment methods are utilized. The purpose of this article is to provide a comprehensive literature review of the performance of the chemical coagulation process in removing trace organic contaminants from water. This study evaluated the removal data collated from recent research relating to various trace organic contaminants during the coagulation process. It was observed that there is limited research data relating to the removal of trace organic contaminants using coagulation. The findings of this study suggest that there is a gap in the current research investigating the potential of new types of coagulants and exploring coagulation-based hybrid processes to remove trace organic contaminants from water. The data analysed in this study regarding removal efficiency suggests that, even for the significantly hydrophobic compounds, hydrophobicity is not the sole factor governing removal of trace organic contaminants by coagulation. This has important implications in that the usual practice of screening coagulants based on turbidity (suspended solid) removal proves inadequate in the case of trace organic contaminant removal.

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