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Analysis and Comparison of Disinfection By-Products from Brominated Hydantoinylated Cross-Linked Polystyrene to Traditional Chlorination

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In assessing any disinfection methodology the amount and nature of unwanted disinfection byproducts (DBPs) need to be investigated. The purpose of this investigation was to assess the DBPs formed/imparted from the use of HaloSource's proprietary N-halamine based treatment media (polystyrene hydantoin (PSH)) for treating water in POU applications. A staged scope of work was created in which each stage builds upon the preceding one and the results of each stage should result in a tangible increase in the knowledge of the DBPs from the technology under study. The first stage compared the brominated version of PSH to chlorination (in the presence/absence of sodium bromide) of a raw drinking water for Northhampton, MA., located near University of Massachusetts at Amherst in which the source water contained a low level of TOC (1.98 mg/L) and the test used a gravity feed POU device for brominated PSH (provided by HaloSource) or in the case of chlorination, simple bleach addition. Analyses performed on treated water included measurement of total organic halogen (TOX), total organic bromine (TOBr), total organic chlorine (TOCl) as well as four trihalomethane species and nine haloacetic acid species. Results showed little to no difference in the amount of total DBPs between the two disinfection methods. However, the character of the DBPs shifted from a chlorinated species to their brominated counterparts for brominated PSH and chlorination in presence of sodium bromide. Additionally, it was suspected that some of the DBPs measured in water treated with brominated PSH may be an artifact of the manufacturing process and not formed when water comes into contact with the media. The second stage of investigation used two types of water, one a Worcester, MA. raw drinking water with a TOC of 7 mg/L and the other from a commercially available reverse osmosis system (TOC < 0.3 mg/L). Brominated PSH from two different manufacturing methods were used and compared to bleach chlorination in the presence/absence of sodium bromide. Results showed that the DBPs from the brominated PSH were primarily artifacts of the manufacturing process rather than a result of reactions between organic compounds in the raw water and bromine. The third stage of the investigation focused on the identification of DBPs using GC/MS and comparing those results to the TOX, TOCl, TOBr, THM4, and HAA9 measurements. From this three stage investigation there are findings that support the deployment of brominated hydantoinylated polystyrene as a safe and effective disinfecting medium for drinking water that does not generate concerns regarding the presence of brominated DBPs in the product water.
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Keywords: Disinfection by-products; N-halamine; POU; bromine; chlorination; drinking water; polystyrene hydantoin

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2009-01-01

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