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Conversion of chlorine/nitrogen species and formation of nitrogenous disinfection by-products in the pre-chlorination/post-UV treatment of sulfamethoxazole

Zhang, Tian-Yang, Xu, Bin, Yao, Shijie, Hu, Yaru, Lin, Kuangfei, Ye, Hui, Cui, Changzheng
Water research 2019 v.160 pp. 188-196
antibiotics, bromides, byproducts, chlorination, chlorine, deamination, disinfection, drinking water treatment, free radicals, nitrogen, organic matter, risk, sulfamethoxazole, ultraviolet radiation
Pre-chlorination and UV disinfection are two common processes in drinking water treatment plants. Sulfamethoxazole (SMX), an antibiotic widely detected in source water, was selected as a precursor to study the conversion of chlorine/nitrogen species and DBP formation in pre-chlorination/post-UV process. The combined chlorine (mainly organic chloramines) produced in pre-chlorination of SMX can self-degrade and release free chlorine back again as pre-chlorination time goes on. With free chlorine dose increasing, the self-degradation rate of combined chlorine increased obviously. But the combined chlorine stopped self-degrading and remained stable around 1 mg-Cl2/L after adding 0.30 mM chlorine for 30 min. Post-UV treatment after pre-chlorination can enhance the degradation and achieve a complete removal of combined chlorine (including organic chloramines). Deamination occurred during pre-chlorination/post-UV process and deamination amount (-NH2) per SMX concentration was 0.19 M/M. Radicals in this process had no obvious influence on chlorine/nitrogen species conversion. Direct chlorination of SMX had the lowest DBP formation potentials while the application of pre-chlorination and UV enhanced them. Compared with UV treatment only, dichloroacetonitrile formation potential of SMX reduced by 1.58 × 10−3 mol/mol-SMX (17.37 μg/l) after pre-chlorination/post-UV treatment. During pre-chlorination/post-UV/final-chlorination treatment of SMX, Br− and natural organic matter can enhance DBP formation and toxicity-weighted values. Acid conditions showed a very high DBP risk, while alkaline conditions could cut this risk obviously, especially for the toxicity-weighted values of these DBPs.