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Intracellular Organic Matter from Cyanobacteria as a Precursor for Carbonaceous and Nitrogenous Disinfection Byproducts

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journal contribution
posted on 18.06.2013, 00:00 authored by Eric C. Wert, Fernando L. Rosario-Ortiz
The formation of total organic halogen (TOX), carbonaceous disinfection byproducts (DBPs) (trihalomethanes (THMs) and haloacetic acids (HAAs)), and nitrogenous DBPs (trichloronitromethane (TCNM) or chloropicrin, haloacetonitriles (HANs), and nitrosamines) was examined during the chlorination or chloramination of intracellular organic matter (IOM) extracted from Microcystis aeruginosa, Oscillatoria sp. (OSC), and Lyngbya sp. (LYN). The percentage of unknown TOX (22–38%) during chlorination indicated that the majority of DBPs were identified among THMs, HAAs, TCNM, and HANs. Bromide was readily incorporated into DBPs with speciation shifting slightly from dihalogenated species to trihalogenated species. During formation potential testing with chloramines, nitrosamine yields from IOM were measured for N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA, 10–52 ng/mgC), N-nitrosopyrrolidine (NPYR, 14 ng/mgC), N-nitrosopiperidine (NPIP, 3.7–5.5 ng/mgC), and N-nitrosomethylethylamine (NMEA, 2.1–2.6 ng/mgC). When IOM was added to a natural water matrix, the nitrosamine yields were not realized likely due to competition from natural organic matter. Ozonation increased NDMA and NMEA formation and reduced NPYR and NPIP formation during subsequent chloramination. In addition, ozone oxidation of IOM formed detectable concentrations of aldehydes, which may contribute to DBP formation. Finally, bioluminescence-based test results showed that >99% of the IOM extracted from OSC and LYN was biodegradable. Therefore, a biological treatment process could minimize this source of DBP precursor material during drinking water treatment.