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J Hazard Mater. 2009 Sep 30;169(1-3):901-6. doi: 10.1016/j.jhazmat.2009.04.031. Epub 2009 Apr 16.

Ca2+ and Mg2+ present in hard waters enhance trihalomethane formation.

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Department of Chemistry, Instituto Universitario de Tecnología Química CSIC-UPV, Universidad Politécnica de Valencia, 46022 Valencia, Spain.


Mg(2+) and Ca(2+) at concentrations typically found in hard waters (30-100 mg L(-1)) promote THM formation in the disinfection process by hypochlorite. This THM enhancement occurs for model solutions as well as for natural water (Turia river). The use of model solutions has allowed establishing that THM promotion is a rather general effect for polyols, citric and humic acids, while for some other substrates such as histidine and dicarboxylic acids the influence of the presence of Mg(2+) and Ca(2+) is negligible. The results with Mg(2+) and Ca(2+) have been compared with that achieved with Cu(2+). It has been observed that the effect of THM enhancement follows the order Cu(2+)>Mg(2+)>Ca(2+).

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