Factors affecting trihalomethane formation and speciation during chlorination of reclaimed water

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Courtesy of IWA Publishing

A hybrid process with membrane bioreactor (MBR) and powdered activated carbon (PAC), PAC/MBR, was used for real municipal wastewater treatment and reuse. The roles of chlorine dose, contact time, pH and bromide in trihalomethane (THM) formation and speciation during chlorination of the reclaimed water were investigated. Total trihalomethane (TTHM) yield exponentially increased to maximum with increasing chlorine dose (correlation coefficient R2 = 0.98). Prolonging substrate chlorine contact time significantly promoted TTHM formation. Less than 40% of THMs formed in the first 24 h, indicating that the PAC/MBR effluent organic matters were mostly composed of slow-reacting precursors. Increasing pH and bromide concentration facilitated THM formation. Higher chlorine dose and contact time enhanced chloro-THM formation. The bromo-THM formation was favored at near neutral condition. Despite the variation of chlorine dose, contact time and pH, the yield of THM species in order was usually CHCl3 > CHBrCl2 > CHBr2Cl > CHBr3. However, THM speciation shifted from chlorinated species to brominated species with increasing bromide concentration.

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