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Transformation and fate of dissolved organic nitrogen in drinking water supply system: A full scale case study from Yixing, China

Li, Yang, Xu, Hang, He, Chen, Shen, Zhen, Chen, Wei, Gao, Li, Lin, Chenshuo, Lin, Tao, Lu, Chunhui, Shi, Quan, Luo, Jian, Wang, Wei
The Science of the total environment 2019 v.673 pp. 435-444
activated carbon, byproducts, carbohydrates, case studies, chlorination, disinfection, dissolved organic nitrogen, drinking water, drinking water treatment, flocculation, mass spectrometry, molecular weight, nitrosamines, proteins, risk, water supply, China
The transformation of dissolved organic nitrogen (DON) in the drinking water treatment plants could be closely associated with nitrogenous disinfection by-product (N-DBP) formation. In this study, we have assessed the molecular transformation of DON and its impact on N-DBP formation in a full scale drinking water treatment plant. Based on the result of Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometry (FT-ICR MS) analysis, DON compounds with low molecular weight (<1 kDa) were classified as CHON, CHON2 and CHON3 according to the number of nitrogen atoms. Via the analytical window of van Krevelen diagrams, we found that the molecular structural features of CHON, CHON2 and CHON3 were not altered before the chlorination process. In detail, the CHON2 and CHON3 compositions were concentrated on the regions assigned to a lignin-structure while CHON compositions were also distributed in other compounds including proteins, carbohydrates and tannin. Furthermore, CHON formation was more difficult to be removed before the V-filter process. For N-DBP, chlorine-containing DON (Cl-DON) composition was likely to be removed through flocculation and sedimentation processes, whereas N-nitrosamine compounds were removed in V-filter and biological activated carbon filter processes. The health risks of aromatic structure N-nitrosamines due to the pre-chlorination of the raw water should be further studied.