Send to

Choose Destination
Environ Sci Technol. 2007 May 1;41(9):3309-15.

Characterization of disinfection byproduct precursors based on hydrophobicity and molecular size.

Author information

Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Massachusetts 01003, USA.


Natural organic matter (NOM) from five water sources was fractionated using XAD resins and ultrafiltration membranes into different groups based on hydrophobicity and molecular weight (MW), respectively. The disinfection byproduct formation from each fraction during chlorination and chloramination was studied. In tests using chlorination, hydrophobic and high MW (e.g., >0.5 kDa) precursors produced more unknown total organic halogen (UTOX) than corresponding hydrophilic and low MW (e.g., <0.5 kDa) precursors. Trihaloacetic acid (THAA) precursors were more hydrophobic than trihalomethane (THM) precursors. The formation of THM and THAA was similar among different fractions for a water with low humic content. Hydrophilic and low MW (<0.5 kDa) NOM fractions gave the highest dihaloacetic acid (DHAA) yields. No significant difference was found for DHAA formation among different NOM fractions during chloramination. Increasing pH from 6 to 9 led to lower TOX formation for hydrophobic and high MW NOM fractions but had little impact on TOX yields from hydrophilic and low MW fractions. Bromine and iodine were more reactive with hydrophilic and low MW precursors as measured by THM or HAA formation than their corresponding hydrophobic and high MW precursors. However, hydrophobic and high MW precursors produced more UTOX when reacting with bromine and iodine.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for American Chemical Society
Loading ...
Support Center