The interplay between natural organic matter and bromide on bromine substitution

Mahmut S. Ersan, Chao Liu, Gary Amy, Tanju Karanfil

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


This study examined the interplay between bromide and DOM characteristics, described with SUVA254, in terms of formation and speciation of selected DBPs [trihalomethanes (THMs), haloacetic acids (HAAs), and haloacetonitriles (HANs)] during chlorination under various water treatment conditions. Cytotoxicity evaluations were also conducted based on the types and amounts of DBPs formed and their corresponding cytotoxicity index values. The results showed that the formation of THMs and HAAs increased as the specific UV absorbance at 254 nm (SUVA254) of the waters increased; however, there was no clear trend for HANs. THM and HAN formation increased with increasing bromide levels, while there was no bromide effect on the HAA formation. Lower HAA5 (monochloroaceticacid, monobromoaceticacid, dichloroaceticacid, trichloroaceticacid, dibromoaceticacid) to HAA9 (monochloroaceticacid, monobromoaceticacid, dichloroaceticacid, trichloroaceticacid, dibromoaceticacid, bromochloroaceticacid, bromodichloroaceticacid, dibromochloroaceticacid, tribromoaceticacid) ratios, independent of SUVA254, were observed with increasing bromide levels. Bromine substitution factor (BSF) values were in the order of BSFDHAN > BSFTHAA > BSFTHM ≈ BSFDHAA. BSF values for all class of DBPs decreased with increasing SUVA254. TOX formation increased with increasing SUVA254 without an impact of bromide concentration. UTOX/TOX ratios were higher in treated low SUVA254 waters than raw waters having higher SUVA254 values, and they decreased with increasing initial bromide concentration in all sources. Increasing bromide concentration from 0.5 μM to 10 μM elevated the calculated cytotoxicity index values of waters. Despite their much lower (approximately ~10 times) formation as compared to THMs and HAAs, HANs controlled the calculated cytotoxicity of studied waters.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1172-1181
Number of pages10
JournalScience of the Total Environment
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Bromine substitution
  • Disinfection byproducts
  • Dissolved organic matter
  • Haloacetic acids
  • Haloacetonitriles
  • Trihalomethanes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution


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