GroundwaterTreatment using the Fenton process: Changes in Natural OrganicMatterCharacteristics andArsenic Removal

Document Type: Original Research Paper



This work investigates the use of Fenton’s process (pH 5.5 and 6; 0.10-0.50 mM Fe(II); molar
ratios Fe(II) to H2O2 of 1:5-1:20) combined with flocculation for the treatment of groundwater which is rich
in natural organic matter (NOM) (10.6±0.37 mg C/L) and arsenic (110±6.7 μg/L). Changes to the character of
the residual NOM fractions were followed, as well as the removal efficiencies of NOM and arsenic. Under
optimal reaction conditions at pH 5.5, 55% of theDissolvedOrganic Carbon (DOC) was removed, whilst removals
of specific disinfection by-product precursors of trihalomethanes (THM), haloacetic acids (HAA) and
haloacetonitriles (HAN) were 80%, 75% and 98%, respectively. Total arsenic concentrations were reduced to
below 5 μg/L under all investigated experimental conditions. After the Fenton treatment, the percentage of the
hydrophobic NOMfraction (humic acid and fulvic acid fraction) decreased, and the percentage of the hydrophilic
fraction (acidic and non-acidic fractions) increased. The hydrophilic fraction, which was the most abundant in
the treated water, was also the most reactive fraction towards THM and HAA formation, whereas the residual
fulvic acid fraction contributed the most to the formation of HAN.