Date of Award

December 2019

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Environmental Engineering and Earth Sciences

Committee Member

Tanju Karanfil

Committee Member

Cindy Lee

Committee Member

David Ladner


The presence of bromide (Br−) in water results in the formation of brominated disinfection byproducts (DBPs) after chlorination, which are much more cytotoxic and genotoxic than their chlorinated analogs. Given that conventional water treatment processes (e.g., coagulation, flocculation, and sedimentation) fail to remove Br− effectively, in this study, we systematically tested and compared the performance of different anion exchange resins, particularly two novel Br-selective resins, for the removal of Br−. The resins’ performance was evaluated under both typical and challenging background water conditions by varying the concentrations of anions and organic matter. The overall Br- removal results followed the trend of Purolite-Br ≥ MIEX-Br > IRA910 ≥ IRA900 > MIEX-Gold > MIEX-DOC. Further evaluation of the Purolite-Br resin showed Br− removal efficiencies of 93.5 ± 4.5% for the initial Br− concentration of 0.25 mg/L in the presence of competing anions (i.e., Cl−, NO3−, NO2−, SO42−, PO43−, and a mixture of all five), alkalinity and organic matter. In addition, experiments under challenging background water conditions confirmed the selectivity of two of the resins (i.e. Purolite-Br and MIEX-Br) in removing Br−, with SO42− and Cl− exhibiting the greatest influence upon the resin performance followed by NOM concentration, regardless of the NOM characteristics. After Br− removal by Br-selective resin, both the subsequent formation of brominated DBPs (trihalomethanes, haloacetic acids, and haloacetonitriles), and the total organic halogens (TOX), decreased by ~90% under uniform formation conditions. Overall, Br-selective resins represent a promising alternative for the efficient control of Br-DBPs in water treatment plants.



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