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Environ Sci Technol. 2001 Jun 1;35(11):2258-63.

Reduction of haloacetic acids by Fe0: implications for treatment and fate.

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Department of Civil Engineering, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55455-0116, USA.


To predict the fate of haloacetic acids (HAAs) in natural or engineered systems, information is needed concerning the types of reactions that these compounds undergo, the rates of those reactions, and the products that are formed. Given that many drinking water distribution systems consist of unlined cast iron pipe, reactions of HAAs with elemental iron (Fe0) may play a role in determining the fate of HAAs in these systems. In addition, zerovalent iron may prove to be an effective treatment technology for the removal of HAAs from chlorinated drinking water and wastewater. Thus, batch experiments were used to investigate reactions of four trihaloacetic acids, trichloroacetic acid (TCAA), tribromoacetic acid (TBAA), chlorodibromoacetic acid (CDBAA), and bromodichloroacetic acid (BDCAA), with Fe0. All compounds readily reacted with Fe0, and investigation of product formation and subsequent disappearance revealed that the reactions proceeded via sequential hydrogenolysis. Bromine was preferentially removed over chlorine, and TBAA was the only compound completely dehalogenated to acetic acid. In compounds containing chlorine, the final product of reactions with Fe0 was monochloroacetic acid. Halogen mass balances were 95-112%, and carbon mass balances were 62.6-112%. The pseudo-first-order rate constants for trihaloacetic acid degradation were as follows: BDCAA (10.6 +/- 3.1 h-1) > CDBAA (1.43 +/- 0.32 h-1) approximately TBAA (1.41 +/- 0.28 h-1) >> TCAA (0.08 +/- 0.02 h-1).

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