Catalan Water Research Institute research and innovation for the sustainable use of water


01/09/2021 - 31/08/2024

Small-molecule mass spectrometry fingerprinting as a diagnostic tool in water quality control and treatment optimization (waterDOM)

The waterDOM project aims to provide methods and analytical tools for the global characterization of dissolved organic matter by obtaining mass profiles with high-resolution spectrometry. The fraction studied in the waterDOM project includes natural organic matter, synthetic organic compounds, transformation products such as disinfection byproducts and soluble microbial products that have been previously extracted by solid phase extraction. WaterDOM will validate mass spectrometry approaches by characterizing profiles of dissolved organic matter through water treatment to estimate and optimize its efficiency. The objectives of waterDOM are the following: 1) Develop new non-directed strategies for the monitoring of dissolved organic matter of small molecules in the different matrices selected for the study (wastewater and effluents from sewage treatment plants -WWTP-, river water and potable water). 2) Select and prioritize specific pollutants to be used as biomarkers of human health and investigate their correlation with the chemical profile obtained with high-resolution spectrometry. 3) Evaluate the efficiency of waste water treatment by monitoring mass profiles in WWTPs. Prediction of potential environmental effects related to the emission and uses of treated water. 4) Investigate mass profiles in drinking water samples to predict the formation of disinfection byproducts. This subproject is part of the waterPRINT coordinated project, whose general objective is to provide methods and analytical tools for the global characterization of water samples based on high-resolution mass spectrometry profiles of dissolved organic matter, including proteins. The coordinated project is structured in four technical work packages and two aimed at coordination, dissemination and exploitation of results. WaterPRINT aims to overcome the current paradigm of water analysis based on individual and known chemical products thanks to the global characterization of organic matter that can ultimately help water companies make more informed decisions about treatment options .