Date of Award

Summer 1984

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Chemistry & Biochemistry



Committee Director

Frank E. Scully, Jr.

Committee Member

Billy T. Upchurch

Committee Member

John D. Van Norman

Committee Member

Terry L. Wade

Call Number for Print

Special Collections LD4331.C45K72


Traditionally humates have been considered the most significant precursor in the formation of trihalomethanes in finished drinking water. This study investigates another potential precursor, namely proteins. The chlorination of aqueous protein solutions yields significant levels of trihalomethanes in terms of the maximum contaminant level (MCL) of 0.100 mg/L imposed by the USEPA. Molar yields for several proteins were determined. The average yield per unit of organic carbon was 0.5% as compared to 0.8% for a humic acid studied. A model protein, bovine serum albumin, was studied extensively to ascertain the effects of total organic carbon, chlorine dose, and time on trihalomethane formation from proteins. The mathematical model developed by Engerholm and Amy to predict the formation of trihalomethanes from humic acids is applied to proteins. The two models are compared. Trihalomethane formation via proteins is much more time dependent than formation via humic acid. As with humic acids, increasing pH increases trihalomethane yields from proteins. The effect of proteins on chlorination breakpoint curves is also addressed.


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