Date of Award

Summer 2019

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation


Chemistry and Biochemistry

First Advisor

Susan D. Richardson


Disinfected drinking water contains hundreds of disinfection by-products (DBPs) that are formed by the reaction of disinfectants with natural and anthropogenic organic matter, bromide, and iodide. Understanding what these DBPs are is important because millions of people worldwide consume drinking water every day, and human epidemiologic studies have reported cancer, miscarriage, and birth defects from consuming such waters. While more than 700 DBPs are reported in the literature, very few studies quantify complete classes of chlorinated, brominated, and iodinated DBPs. The following document contains five chapters in the format designated for specific scientific journals on this subject. Chapter 1 describes an optimized extraction method that combines 61 disinfection by-products from 7 different chemical classes prioritized by in vivo toxicity, and includes regulated trihalomethanes (THMs) and haloacetic acids (HAAs), unregulated iodinated HAAs and THMs, tri-haloacetaldehydes, haloketones, haloacetonitriles, halonitromethanes, and haloacetamides. Chapter 2 describes a novel method developed for the quantification of 10 halobenzoquinones (HBQs), a class of DBPs in drinking water which have been shown to be more toxic than most regulated DBPs. This method allows low ng/L limits of detection, requires minimal sample preparation, and analysis is almost entirely automated.

Chapter 3 discusses a method that simultaneously quantifies DBPs, and analyzes unknown DBPs under full-scan conditions using a new type of time-of-flight (TOF) mass spectrometer, which combines selected ion monitoring (SIM)-level sensitivity with mass accuracy of ± 0.05 Da. Chapter 4 evaluates the reduction of 70 priority unregulated and regulated DBPs in full-scale chlorinated drinking plants using granular activated carbon (GAC), while assessing calculated cytotoxicity and genotoxicity. Chapter 5 evaluates the reduction of these priority unregulated DBPs, regulated DBPs, and N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) in full-scale chloraminated drinking water plants that utilize biological activated carbon, while assessing calculated cytotoxicity and genotoxicity. Chapter 4 and 5 provide valuable insight into how to reduce these toxic unregulated DBPs, and what DBPs are toxicity-drivers in real-world exposure conditions. Chapter 1 is in the format of the journal, Analytical Chemistry; Chapter 2: Journal of Chromatography A; Chapter 3: Water Research; Chapter 4: Environmental Science & Technology; Chapter 5: Water Research.

Included in

Chemistry Commons