N-Nitrosodimethylamine Formation during UV/Hydrogen Peroxide and UV/Chlorine Advanced Oxidation Process Treatment Following Reverse Osmosis for Potable Reuse.
Environmental science & technology
Chloramines applied to control microfiltration and reverse osmosis (RO) membrane biofouling in potable reuse trains form the potent carcinogen, N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA). In addition to degrading other contaminants, UV-based advanced oxidation processes (AOPs) strive to degrade NDMA by direct photolysis. The UV/chlorine AOP is gaining attention because of its potential to degrade other contaminants at lower UV fluence than the UV/hydrogen peroxide AOP, although previous pilot studies have observed that the UV/chlorine AOP was less effective for NDMA control. Using dimethylamine (DMA) as a model precursor and secondary municipal wastewater effluent, this study evaluated NDMA formation during the AOP treatment via two pathways. First, NDMA formation by UV treatment of monochloramine (NH2Cl) and chlorinated DMA (Cl-DMA) passing through RO membranes was maximized at 350 mJ/cm2 UV fluence, declining at higher fluence, where NDMA photolysis outweighed NDMA formation. Second, this study demonstrated that chlorine addition to the chloramine-containing RO permeate during the UV/chlorine AOP treatment initiated rapid NDMA formation by dark breakpoint reactions associated with reactive intermediates from the hydrolysis of dichloramine. At pH 5.7, this formation was maximized at a chlorine/ammonia molar ratio of 3 (out of 0-10), conditions typical for UV/chlorine AOPs. At 700 mJ/cm2 UV fluence, which is applicable to current practice, NDMA photolysis degraded a portion of the NDMA formed by breakpoint reactions. Lowering UV fluence to 350 mJ/cm2 when switching to the UV/chlorine AOP exacerbates effluent NDMA concentrations because of concurrent NDMA formation via the UV/NH2Cl/Cl-DMA and breakpoint chlorination pathways. Fluence >700 mJ/cm2 or chlorine doses greater than the 3:1 chlorine/ammonia molar ratios under consideration for the UV/HOCl AOP treatment are needed to achieve NDMA control.
View details for DOI 10.1021/acs.est.0c05704
View details for PubMedID 33185421