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Effects of Combined UV and Chlorine Treatment on the Formation of Trichloronitromethane from Amine Precursors

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journal contribution
posted on 04.03.2014, 00:00 by Lin Deng, Ching-Hua Huang, Yung-Li Wang
The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of combined low-pressure ultraviolet (LPUV) irradiation and free chlorination on the formation of trichloronitromethane (TCNM) byproduct from amine precursors, including a commonly used polyamine coagulant aid (poly­(epichlorohydrin dimethylamine)) and simple alkylamines dimethylamine (DMA) and methylamine (MA). Results showed that TCNM formation can increase up to 15 fold by combined UV/chlorine under disinfection to advanced oxidation conditions. The enhancement effect is influenced by UV irradiance, chlorine dose, and water pH. Extended reaction time leads to the decay of TCNM by direct photolysis. The combined UV/chlorine conditions significantly promoted degradation of polyamine to generate intermediates, including DMA and MA, which are better TCNM precursors than polyamine, and also facilitated transformation of these amine precursors to TCNM. Under combined UV/chlorine, polyamine degradation was likely promoted by radical oxidation, photodecay of chlorinated polyamine, and chlorine oxidation/substitution. Promoted TCNM formation from primary amine MA was primarily due to radicals’ involvement. Promoted TCNM formation from secondary amine DMA likely involved a combination of radical oxidation, photoenhanced chlorination reactions, and other unknown mechanisms. Insights obtained in this study are useful for reducing TCNM formation during water treatment when both UV and chlorine will be encountered.