Effect of gamma-irradiation on total organic carbon and trihalomethane formation potential

Document Type



Master of Science (MS)


Environmental Engineering

First Advisor's Name

Jeffrey H. Greenfield

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

William Cooper

Third Advisor's Name

Robert J. Fennema


Groundwater -- Purification, Water -- Purification -- Organic compounds removal

Date of Defense



This research was conducted to study the use of radiation in water treatment as an alternative to chlorination which has caused health concerns due to the formation of harmful disinfection by-products. Groundwater solutions from the Biscayne aquifer were radiated with Cobalt-60 gamma radiation and studied for changes in dissolved organic carbon (DOC), UV absorbance at 254 nm (UV254), fluorescence and trihalomethane formation potential (THMFP). Molecular fractionations were conducted by ultrafiltration. Effect of the combination of radiation/peroxide was studied for DOC and UV254. Radiation showed significant removal in DOC and THMFP. Similar results were seen in the fluorescence and UV absorbance experiments. Radiation/peroxide did not improve the DOC removal. Radiation of the groundwater samples broke the larger molecular weight fractions in to smaller fractions.



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