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Analytical characterization of N-halogenated peptides produced by disinfection: Formation, degradation, and occurrence in water

Jiang, Ping, Jmaiff Blackstock, Lindsay K., Wawryk, Nicholas J.P., Huang, Guang, Li, Xing-Fang
Trends in analytical chemistry 2019 v.112 pp. 255-263
Lewis acids, byproducts, disinfectants, disinfection, dissolved organic nitrogen, drinking water, liquid chromatography, mass spectrometry, peptides, titration, wastewater
Organic N-haloamines are water disinfection byproducts resulting from reactions between dissolved organic nitrogen and disinfectants. N-halogenated peptides, an important group of organic N-haloamines, have been overlooked over the past. In this review, we highlight peptides as the precursors for N-halogenated peptides during wastewater and drinking water disinfection. We discuss the analysis of N-halogenated peptides using methods based on titration, spectrophotometry, chromatography, and advanced liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry and the studies of the formation, degradation, and occurrence of N-halogenated peptides in water. While each method contributes to the evaluation of mechanisms and kinetics of formation and degradation of N-halogenated peptides in laboratory solution, only the development of highly sensitive and selective mass spectrometric methods enables the detection of trace levels of N-halogenated peptides in authentic disinfected water samples. Overall, reactions between peptides and disinfectants take place in milliseconds through an electrophilic substitution process. The N-halogenated peptides formed are relatively stable, leading to their sustainability in disinfected water. The recent detection of N-chlorinated peptides as disinfection byproducts using liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry in drinking water brings attention to these compounds. Further investigation of N-halogenated peptides on their occurrence and toxicological impacts are required to evaluate their health relevance.