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Natural Production of Organic Bromine Compounds in Berlin Lakes

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journal contribution
posted on 15.05.2007, 00:00 authored by Alexandra Hütteroth, Anke Putschew, Martin Jekel
Berlin surface waters are characterized by elevated concentrations of organic bound bromine (up to 35 μg/L) in late summer. Organic bromine compounds in lakes are of significant importance because human life is closely connected to fresh water. Apart from recreational use, fresh water is frequently used for the production of drinking water, e.g., after bank filtration. Therefore the source, particularly the mechanism responsible for the formation is studied. Field studies indicate that the organic bromine compounds, measured as adsorbable organic bromine (AOBr), are autochthonous. Staggered maxima concentrations of chlorophyll-a, DOC and AOBr indicate that phototrophic organisms might contribute to the AOBr after death. The involvement of phototrophic organisms was established in the laboratory using surface water and/or cultures of organisms. Light and the presence of phototrophic organisms are essential for an AOBr production. Phototrophic organisms incorporate bromide, which is released randomly and after cell death. A part of the incorporated bromide is used for the formation of organic bromine compounds in the cell. After death of the organisms the brominated compounds and the incorporated bromide are released into the water phase, and an extracellular AOBr production can lead to a further formation of AOBr, most probably due to the parallel release of haloperoxidases.

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