R. Scott Summers
, along with Fernando Rosario-Ortiz
and Karl Linden
, is active in the development of effective treatment technologies for the production of safe water. Activated carbon adsorption is being assessed for application to a wide range of organic contaminants, such as volatile organic contaminants, those found in the waste discharges of industry, agriculture and municipalities, and naturally occurring organic matter that causes taste and odor issues at parts per trillion levels, as well as reacting to disinfection byproducts (DBPs). In addition, new adsorbents, such a chars, are being developed from indigenously sourced biomass feedstocks. Many of these organic contaminants have been found to be biodegradable under secondary utilization scenarios and new approaches to optimize their removal under drinking water conditions are being developed. Bioprocesses are also being evaluated as pretreatment processes prior to coagulation, adsorption and membrane processes. In our labs we found fluorescence spectroscopy to be a valuable tool in understanding and monitoring of organic matter as it is impacted by coagulation and adsorption and as it reacts to form DBPs. These treatment processes are being evaluated under water quality perturbations caused by climate change, wildfires, floods and deforestation.