Differential absorbance spectroscopy is a powerful tool for monitoring transformations in the chemical state of humic species (HS). Differential spectra for halogenation of HS are remarkably similar for a wide range of raw and treated waters but are dramatically different from those of model compounds such as resorcinol. These differences might be related to the larger size of the HS molecules and the consequent inter-chromophore interactions. The shape of the spectra provides information about the chemical nature of the reactive chromophores. The formation of chlorinated disinfection by-products such as CHCl3 is strongly correlated with the magnitude of the differential absorbance.

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