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Formation and Speciation Characteristics of Brominated Trihalomethanes in Seawater Chlorination

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Formation character of brominated-trihalomethanes (Br-THMs) in chlorinated seawater and its dependence on applied chlorine dose, reaction time, and temperature were investigated in the laboratory. Seawater was collected from the east coast of India and a chlorine dose of 1, 3, 5, and 10 ppm was each applied at a temperature of 20, 30, and 40 °C to investigate the yield and kinetics of Br-THMs formation. Qualitative and quantitative estimation of THM formation at various intervals of time ranging from 5 min to 168 h was determined by a gas chromatograph equipped with an electron capture detector (GC-ECD). Chlorine dose, chlorine contact time, and reaction temperature positively affected the load of THMs. The ratio of chlorine dose to halogen incorporation decreased from 12% to 5% with increasing applied chlorine dose from 1 to 10 ppm. Significant levels of THMs were found to be formed within 0.5 h of reaction, followed by a very slow rate of formation. Elevated temperature favored both increased rate of formation and overall THM yield. The formation order of different trihalomethane species at all studied temperatures was observed to be bromodichloromethane (CHCl2Br) < dibromochloromethane (CHClBr2) < bromoform (CHBr3). Formation of chloroform was not observed, and bromoform was the dominant (96% to 98%) among the three THM species formed.

Keywords: brominated-trihalomethane; chlorination byproduct; natural organic matter; seawater chlorination; trihalomethane

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: November 1, 2012

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  • Water Environment Research® (WER®) publishes peer-reviewed research papers, research notes, state-of-the-art and critical reviews on original, fundamental and applied research in all scientific and technical areas related to water quality, pollution control, and management. An annual Literature Review provides a review of published books and articles on water quality topics from the previous year.

    Published as: Sewage Works Journal, 1928 - 1949; Sewage and Industrial Wastes, 1950 - 1959; Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, 1959 - Oct 1989; Research Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, Nov 1989 - 1991; Water Environment Research, 1992 - present.
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