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Inputs of disinfection by-products to the marine environment from various industrial activities: Comparison to natural production.

  • Grote, Matthias1
  • Boudenne, Jean-Luc2
  • Croué, Jean-Philippe3
  • Escher, Beate I4
  • von Gunten, Urs5
  • Hahn, Josefine6
  • Höfer, Thomas7
  • Jenner, Henk8
  • Jiang, Jingyi9
  • Karanfil, Tanju10
  • Khalanski, Michel11
  • Kim, Daekyun10
  • Linders, Jan12
  • Manasfi, Tarek13
  • Polman, Harry14
  • Quack, Birgit15
  • Tegtmeier, Susann16
  • Werschkun, Barbara17
  • Zhang, Xiangru9
  • Ziegler, Greg18
  • 1 German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment, Unit Transport of Dangerous Goods and Chemical Exposure, Berlin, Germany. Electronic address: [email protected]. , (Germany)
  • 2 Aix Marseille University, CNRS, LCE, Marseille, France. , (France)
  • 3 Institut de Chimie des Milieux et des Matériaux IC2MP UMR 7285 CNRS, Université de Poitiers, Poitiers 86000, France. , (France)
  • 4 Department of Cell Toxicology, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research - UFZ, Leipzig, Germany; Environmental Toxicology, Center for Applied Geoscience, Eberhard Karls University, Tübingen, Germany. , (Germany)
  • 5 Eawag, Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology, Dübendorf CH-8600, Switzerland; School of Architecture, Civil and Environmental Engineering (ENAC), Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Lausanne CH-1015, Switzerland. , (Switzerland)
  • 6 Helmholtz-Zentrum Hereon, Institute for Coastal Environmental Chemistry, Geesthacht, Germany. , (Germany)
  • 7 Member of GESAMP, Berlin, Germany. , (Germany)
  • 8 Aquator, Utrecht, the Netherland.
  • 9 Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Hong Kong SAR, China. , (China)
  • 10 Department of Environmental Engineering and Earth Sciences, Clemson University, Anderson, SC 29625, USA.
  • 11 Houilles, France. , (France)
  • 12 Member of GESAMP, GESAMP-BWWG, Retired, Formerly RIVM, De Waag 24, Amersfoort 3823 GE, the Netherland.
  • 13 Eawag, Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology, Dübendorf CH-8600, Switzerland. , (Switzerland)
  • 14 H20 Biofouling Solutions, Bemmel, the Netherland.
  • 15 GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research, Kiel, Germany. , (Germany)
  • 16 Institute of Space and Atmospheric Studies, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Canada. , (Canada)
  • 17 Wissenschaftsbüro Dr. Barbara Werschkun, Monumentenstraße31a, Berlin D-10829, Germany. , (Germany)
  • 18 University of Maryland, Queenstown, MD, USA.
Published Article
Water research
Publication Date
Jun 15, 2022
DOI: 10.1016/j.watres.2022.118383
PMID: 35460978


Oxidative treatment of seawater in coastal and shipboard installations is applied to control biofouling and/or minimize the input of noxious or invasive species into the marine environment. This treatment allows a safe and efficient operation of industrial installations and helps to protect human health from infectious diseases and to maintain the biodiversity in the marine environment. On the downside, the application of chemical oxidants generates undesired organic compounds, so-called disinfection by-products (DBPs), which are discharged into the marine environment. This article provides an overview on sources and quantities of DBP inputs, which could serve as basis for hazard analysis for the marine environment, human health and the atmosphere. During oxidation of marine water, mainly brominated DBPs are generated with bromoform (CHBr3) being the major DBP. CHBr3 has been used as an indicator to compare inputs from different sources. Total global annual volumes of treated seawater inputs resulting from cooling processes of coastal power stations, from desalination plants and from ballast water treatment in ships are estimated to be 470-800 × 109 m3, 46 × 109 m3 and 3.5 × 109 m3, respectively. Overall, the total estimated anthropogenic bromoform production and discharge adds up to 13.5-21.8 × 106 kg/a (kg per year) with contributions of 11.8-20.1 × 106 kg/a from cooling water treatment, 0.89 × 106 kg/a from desalination and 0.86 × 106 kg/a from ballast water treatment. This equals approximately 2-6% of the natural bromoform emissions from marine water, which is estimated to be 385-870 × 106 kg/a. Copyright © 2022. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

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