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Reduction of N-nitrosodimethylamine formation from ranitidine by ozonation preceding chloramination: influencing factors and mechanisms

Zou, Rusen, Liao, Xiaobin, Zhao, Lei, Yuan, Baoling
Environmental science and pollution research international 2018 v.25 no.14 pp. 13489-13498
N-nitrosodimethylamine, alcohols, bromides, bromination, dimethylamine, disinfectants, drinking water, drugs, furfuryl alcohol, histamine, human health, hydroxyl radicals, organic matter, oxidation, ozonation, ozone, pH, risk, toxicity, water quality
Formation of toxic N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) by chloramination of ranitidine, a drug to block histamine, was still an ongoing issue and posed a risk to human health. In this study, the effect of ozonation prior to chloramination on NDMA formation and the transformation pathway were determined. Influencing factors, including ozone dosages, pH, hydroxyl radical scavenger, bromide, and NOM, were studied. The results demonstrated that small ozone dosage (0.5 mg/L) could effectively control NDMA formation from subsequent chloramination (from 40 to 0.8%). The NDMA molar conversion was not only influenced by pH but also by ozone dosages at various pre-ozonation pH (reached the highest value of 5% at pH 8 with 0.5 mg/L O₃ but decreased with the increasing pH with 1 mg/L O₃). The NDMA molar yield by chloramination of ranitidine without pre-ozonation was reduced by the presence of bromide ion due to the decomposition of disinfectant. However, due to the formation of brominated intermediate substances (i.e., dimethylamine (DMA), dimethyl-aminomethyl furfuryl alcohol (DFUR)) with higher NDMA molar yield than their parent substances, more NDMA was formed than that without bromide ion upon ozonation. Natural organic matter (NOM) and hydroxyl radical scavenger (tert-butyl alcohol, tBA) enhanced NDMA generation because of the competition of ozone and more ranitidine left. The NDMA reduction mechanism by pre-ozonation during chloramination of ranitidine may be due to the production of oxidation products with less NDMA yield (such as DMA) than parent compound. Based on the result of Q-TOF and GC-MS/MS analysis, three possible transformation pathways were proposed. Different influences of oxidation conditions and water quality parameters suggest that strategies to reduce NDMA formation should vary with drinking water sources and choose optimal ozone dosage.