Advanced oxidation processes for the removal of natural organic matter from drinking water sources: A comprehensive review

Mika Sillanpää, Mohamed Chaker Ncibi, Anu Matilainen

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

298 Citations (Scopus)


Natural organic matter (NOM), a key component in aquatic environments, is a complex matrix of organic substances characterized by its fluctuating amounts in water and variable molecular and chemical properties, leading to various interaction schemes with the biogeosphere and hydrologic cycle. These factors, along with the increasing amounts of NOM in surface and ground waters, make the effort of removing naturally-occurring organics from drinking water supplies, and also from municipal wastewater effluents, a challenging task requiring the development of highly efficient and versatile water treatment technologies. Advanced oxidation processes (AOPs) received an increasing amount of attention from researchers around the world, especially during the last decade. The related processes were frequently reported to be among the most suitable water treatment technologies to remove NOM from drinking water supplies and mitigate the formation of disinfection by products (DBPs). Thus, the present work overviews recent research and development studies conducted on the application of AOPs to degrade NOM including UV and/or ozone-based applications, different Fenton processes and various heterogeneous catalytic and photocatalytic oxidative processes. Other non-conventional AOPs such as ultrasonication, ionizing radiation and plasma technologies were also reported. Furthermore, since AOPs are unlikely to achieve complete oxidation of NOM, integration schemes with other water treatment technologies were presented including membrane filtration, adsorption and others processes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)56-76
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Environmental Management
Publication statusPublished - 15 Feb 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • AOPs
  • Drinking water
  • Integrated processes
  • NOM
  • Removal efficiency

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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