Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 25, Issue 9, pp 8765–8776 | Cite as

Towards a better control of the wastewater treatment process: excitation-emission matrix fluorescence spectroscopy of dissolved organic matter as a predictive tool of soluble BOD5 in influents of six Parisian wastewater treatment plants

  • Angélique Goffin
  • Sabrina Guérin
  • Vincent Rocher
  • Gilles Varrault
Research Article


The online monitoring of dissolved organic matter (DOM) in raw sewage water is expected to better control wastewater treatment processes. Fluorescence spectroscopy offers one possibility for both the online and real-time monitoring of DOM, especially as regards the DOM biodegradability assessment. In this study, three-dimensional fluorescence spectroscopy combined with a parallel factor analysis (PARAFAC) has been investigated as a predictive tool of the soluble biological oxygen demand in 5 days (BOD5) for raw sewage water. Six PARAFAC components were highlighted in 69 raw sewage water samples: C2, C5, and C6 related to humic-like compounds, along with C1, C3, and C4 related to protein-like compounds. Since the PARAFAC methodology is not available for online monitoring, a peak-picking approach based on maximum excitation-emission (Ex-Em) localization of the PARAFAC components identified in this study has been used. A good predictive model of soluble BOD5 using fluorescence spectroscopy parameters was obtained (r2 = 0.846, adjusted r2 = 0.839, p < 0.0001). This model is quite straightforward, easy to automate, and applicable to the operational field of wastewater treatment for online monitoring purposes.


3D fluorescence spectroscopy Biological oxygen demand Dissolved organic matter Parallel factor analysis Wastewater quality monitoring Monitoring 



The authors gratefully acknowledge the French Ministry of Research and the Mocopee Research Program for their support. We would also like to thank the SIAAP Laboratory for performing the global parameter analyses.

Supplementary material

11356_2018_1205_MOESM1_ESM.docx (26 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 25 kb)
11356_2018_1205_Fig6_ESM.gif (66 kb)
Supporting Figure A1

Validation of the split-half analysis for six PARAFAC components (GIF 65 kb)

11356_2018_1205_MOESM2_ESM.tif (109 kb)
High Resolution Image (TIFF 109 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.LEESU (UMR MA 102, Université Paris-Est, AgroParisTech)Université Paris-Est CréteilCréteilFrance
  2. 2.SIAAP, Direction Innovation EnvironnementColombesFrance

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