Water Resources Research Act Program

Details for Project ID 2018DC197B

Chlorine and Chloramine Removal from Drinking Water by A Novel Polymer Resin with A Covalently Bonded Reducing Agent

Institute: District of Columbia
Year Established: 2018 Start Date: 2018-03-01 End Date: 2019-02-28
Total Federal Funds: $10,000 Total Non-Federal Funds: $4,800

Principal Investigators: Xueqing Song, William Li

Abstract: Chlorine and chloramines have been hailed as the miracle of the modern world. Their disinfecting properties have been used to help eliminate many water-borne diseases. Our DC cities water systems treat water with chlorine and chloramine, as other cities in our country, to insure what is called safe drinking water. But there are following concerns that the chlorine and chloramine in the drinking water may cause serious problems. (1) Research conducted on the health effects of chlorinated drinking water have demonstrated a variety of toxicity issues. Several studies have found that communities using chlorinated or chloraminated drinking water have an increased risk of bladder, kidney, and rectal cancers. THMs from chemically treated water have been associated with a variety of poor birth outcomes, such as spontaneous abortion, birth defects, and low birth weight. (2) Chlorine and chloramine vapors are associated with greater risk of asthma, and may damage the mucosal lining of the respiratory tract. Free radicals in chlorinated water have been linked to liver malfunction, weakening of the immune system and pre-arteriosclerotic changes in arteries. (3) The treated tap water smells chlorine and will affect dialysis, aquariums, hydroponic applications, and homebrewing beer. We propose to use a novel reducing agent that will be covalently bonded a polymer resin to remove chlorine and other free radical generating molecules from DC tap water to prevent them to enter our body and minimize above side effects of our current disinfect methods. This active component of reducing agent is an organic hydroxylamine. A similar molecule was approved to be safe by clinical trials approved by FDA. The objectives of this project are to 1) synthesize novel polymer resins that have strong reducing agent attached; 2) evaluate these resin against DC drinking water, swimming pool water and purified water. 3) design a model device with these resins. This project is also designed to involve undergraduate students at the University of the District of Columbia in research. Undergraduate students in this project have the chance to learn organic synthesis skill both for small molecules and functional polymers.