Application of dual carbon-bromine isotope analysis for investigating abiotic transformations of tribromoneopentyl alcohol (TBNPA) Academic Article uri icon


  • Many of polybrominated organic compounds, used as flame retardant additives, belong to the group of persistent organic pollutants. Compound-specific isotope analysis is one of the potential analytical tools for investigating their fate in the environment. However, the isotope effects associated with transformations of brominated organic compounds are still poorly explored. In the present study, we investigated carbon and bromine isotope fractionation during degradation of tribromoneopentyl alcohol (TBNPA), one of the widely used flame retardant additives, in three different chemical processes: transformation in aqueous alkaline solution (pH 8); reductive dehalogenation by zero-valent iron nanoparticles (nZVI) in anoxic conditions; and oxidative degradation by H2O2 in the presence of CuO nanoparticles (nCuO).Two-dimensional carbon-bromine isotope plots (δ13C/Δ81Br) for each reaction gave different process-dependent isotope slopes (Λ(C/Br)): 25.2 ± 2.5 for alkaline hydrolysis (pH 8); 3.8 ± 0.5 for debromination in the presence of nZVI in anoxic conditions; and ∞ in the case of catalytic oxidation by H2O2 with nCuO. The obtained isotope effects for both elements were generally in agreement with the values expected for the suggested reaction mechanisms. The results of the present study support further applications of dual carbon-bromine isotope analysis as a tool for identification of reaction pathway during transformations of brominated organic compounds in the environment.

publication date

  • January 1, 2015