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Removal of Intermediate Aromatic Halogenated DBPs by Activated Carbon Adsorption: A New Approach to Controlling Halogenated DBPs in Chlorinated Drinking Water

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journal contribution
posted on 15.02.2017, 00:00 by Jingyi Jiang, Xiangru Zhang, Xiaohu Zhu, Yu Li
During chlorine disinfection of drinking water, chlorine may react with natural organic matter (NOM) and bromide ion in raw water to generate halogenated disinfection byproducts (DBPs). To mitigate adverse effects from DBP exposure, granular activated carbon (GAC) adsorption has been considered as one of the best available technologies for removing NOM (DBP precursor) in drinking water treatment. Recently, we have found that many aromatic halogenated DBPs form in chlorination, and they act as intermediate DBPs to decompose and form commonly known DBPs including trihalomethanes and haloacetic acids. In this work, we proposed a new approach to controlling drinking water halogenated DBPs by GAC adsorption of intermediate aromatic halogenated DBPs during chlorination, rather than by GAC adsorption of NOM prior to chlorination (i.e., traditional approach). Rapid small-scale column tests were used to simulate GAC adsorption in the new and traditional approaches. Significant reductions of aromatic halogenated DBPs were observed in the effluents with the new approach; the removals of total organic halogen, trihalomethanes, and haloacetic acids by the new approach always exceeded those by the traditional approach; and the effluents with the new approach were considerably less developmentally toxic than those with the traditional approach. Our findings indicate that the new approach is substantially more effective in controlling halogenated DBPs than the traditional approach.