Scholarly Communications Project

Chemical Identification and Organoleptic Evaluation of Iodine and Iodinated Disinfection By-Products Associated with Treated Spacecraft Drinking Water


Jennifer Peters Dodd

Master's Thesis submitted to the Faculty of the Virginia Tech in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of

Master of Science


Civil Engineering


Andrea Dietrich, Chair
Robert Hoehn
Daniel Gallagher

February 11, 1997
Blacksburg, Virginia


Aboard the International Space Station, potable water will likely be produced from recycled wastewater. The National Aeronautic and Space Administration (NASA) plans to use iodine as a disinfectant, and, consequently, the formation of iodinated disinfection by-products (IDBPs) requires investigation. Objectives of this research were to determine possible precursors of IDBPs, identify IDBPs formed, and apply flavor profile analysis (FPA) as a tool to evaluate water qaulity. Experiments were performed by separately reacting iodine with each of the following organic compounds: methanol, ethanol, 1-propanol, 2-propanol, 1-methoxy-2-propanol, acetone, and formaldehyde. NASA previously identified all of these compounds in wastewater sources under consideration for recycling into potable water. Experiments were performed at pH 5.5 and 8, iodine concentrations of 10 and 50 mg/L, and organic concentrations of 5 and 50 mg/L. Gas chromatography/mass spectrometry was used to identify and monitor the concentrations of organic species. Spectrophotometry was used to monitor the iodine concentration. Acetone was the only compound identified as an IDBP precursor and it reacted to produce iodoacetone and iodoform. Concentrations of iodoform from 0.34 mg/L to 8.637 mg/L were produced at conditions that included each pH level, iodine concentration, and acetone concentration. The greatest iodoform concentration was produced at pH 8 from 50 mg/L of iodine and acetone. FPA indicated that the odor threshold concentration (OTC) of iodoform was 1.5 ug/L, and the OTC of iodine was 500 ug/L. Both iodine and iodoform have medicinal odors, making it difficult to distinguish each compound when present in a mixture.

List of attached files

File NameSize (Bytes)
jpd3.PDF327,291 Bytes

The author grants to Virginia Tech or its agents the right to archive and display their thesis or dissertation in whole or in part in the University Libraries in all forms of media, now or hereafter known. The author retains all proprietary rights, such as patent rights. The author also retains the right to use in future works (such as articles or books) all or part of this thesis or dissertation.
[ETD main page] [Search ETDs][] [SCP home page] [library home page]

Send Suggestions or Comments to