Water Resources Research Act Program

Details for Project ID 2012DE240B

Preventing Formation of Toxic Chlorination Byproducts in Water Using Zerovalent Iron

Institute: Delaware
Year Established: 2012 Start Date: 2012-06-01 End Date: 2013-02-28
Total Federal Funds: $1,500 Total Non-Federal Funds: $3,000

Principal Investigators: Pei Chiu, Pei Chiu

Abstract: Chlorine has been widely used in water treatment and food processing for its high efficiency in moving bacteria. However, chlorination can produce toxic disinfection byproducts (DBPs), which impact the health of millions of Americans. The toxic DBPs may come into contact with human bodies through multiple pathways. For instance, they can be absorbed by drinking treated water, inhaling vapors from hot water, and eating vegetables irrigated or washed by chlorinated water. Many DBPs have been linked to kidney and bladder cancers in the laboratory experiments and epidemiological studies. While over 600 DBPs have been identified and EPA regulates 11 of them, more than 50% have not yet been identified. We drink and use large volumes of water every day and thus are constantly exposed to these DBPs. As this is a critical public health concern, a method to ameliorate this problem is urgently needed. The goal of the proposed study is to evaluate a novel method, through the use of zerovalent iron(ZVI), to reduce the formation of DBPs during water chlorination and thereby protect public health. If this method can be successfully demonstrated in the laboratory, a feasible technology may be developed in the future which would benefit the larger population.