Document Type


Publication Date



Department of Civil, Environmental, and Geospatial Engineering


Bromine radical (Br•) has been hypothesized to be a key intermediate of bromate formation during ozonation. Once formed, Br• further reacts with ozone to eventually form bromate. However, this reaction competes with the reaction of Br• with dissolved organic matter (DOM), of which reactivity and reaction mechanisms are less studied to date. To fill this gap, this study determined the second-order rate constant (k) of the reactions of selected organic model compounds, a DOM isolate, and monochloramine (NH2Cl) with Br• using γ-radiolysis. The kBr• of all model compounds were high (kBr• > 108 M–1 s–1) and well correlated with quantum-chemically computed free energies of activation, indicating a selectivity of Br• toward electron-rich compounds, governed by electron transfer. The reaction of phenol (a representative DOM moiety) with Br• yielded p-benzoquinone as a major product with a yield of 59% per consumed phenol, suggesting an electron transfer mechanism. Finally, the potential of NH2Cl to quench Br• was tested based on the fast reaction (kBr•, NH2Cl = 4.4 × 109 M–1 s–1, this study), resulting in reduced bromate formation of up to 77% during ozonation of bromide-containing lake water. Overall, our study demonstrated that Br• quenching by NH2Cl can substantially suppress bromate formation, especially in waters containing low DOC concentrations (1–2 mgC/L).

Publication Title

Environmental Science and Technology


Publisher's PDF