Chlorination byproducts in drinking water produced from thermal desalination in United Arab Emirates

Walid Elshorbagy, Mohamed Abdulkarim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Oil activities in the Arabian Gulf can potentially affect the quality of the intake water available for coastal desalination plants. This paper addresses such situation by investigating the quality of intake water and desalinated water produced by a desalination plant located near a coastal industrial complex in United Arab Emirates (UAE). Analyses of the organic compounds on the intake seawater reported non-detected levels in most samples for the three tested organic groups; namely Polyaromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs), Phenols, and Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs). Trihalomethanes (THMs) and Haloacetic Acids (HAAs) were also tracked in the intake sea water, throughout the desalination processes, and in the final produced drinking water, to evaluate the undertaken pre- and post chlorination practices. The levels of considered Chlorination Byproducts (CBPs) were mostly found below the permissible international limits with few exceptions showing tangible levels of bromoform in the intake seawater and in the final produced drinking water as well. Lab-controlled experiments on the final produced distillate showed little contribution of its blending with small percentage of seawater upon the formation of trihalomethane and in particular, bromoform. Such results indicate that the organic precursors originated in the seawater are responsible for bromoform formation in the final distillate.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)313-331
Number of pages19
JournalEnvironmental Monitoring and Assessment
Issue number1-3
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2006


  • Bromoform
  • Chlorination byproducts
  • Desalination
  • Drinking water
  • United Arab Emirates

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Environmental Science
  • Pollution
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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