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Water Res. 2016 May 1;94:305-314. doi: 10.1016/j.watres.2016.02.065. Epub 2016 Mar 3.

Degradation of N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) and its precursor dimethylamine (DMA) in mineral micropores induced by microwave irradiation.

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State Key Laboratory of Organic Geochemistry, Guangzhou Institute of Geochemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou 510640, China; University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, 100049, China.
MOE Laboratory for Earth Surface Processes, College of Urban and Environmental Sciences, Peking University, Beijing, 100871, China. Electronic address:


Removal of N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) in drinking water treatment poses a significant technical challenge due to its small molecular size, high polarity and water solubility, and poor biodegradability. Degradation of NDMA and its precursor, dimethylamine (DMA), was investigated by adsorbing them from aqueous solution using porous mineral sorbents, followed by destruction under microwave irradiation. Among the mineral sorbents evaluated, dealuminated ZSM-5 exhibited the highest sorption capacities for NDMA and DMA, which decreased with the density of surface cations present in the micropores. In contrast, the degradation rate of the sorbed NDMA increased with the density of surface cations under microwave irradiation. Evolutions of the degradation products and C/N ratio indicate that the sorbed NDMA and DMA could be eventually mineralized under continuous microwave irradiation. The degradation rate was strongly correlated with the bulk temperature of ZSM-5 and microwave power, which is consistent with the mechanism of pyrolysis caused by formation of micro-scale "hot spots" within the mineral micropores under microwave irradiation. Compared to existing treatment options for NDMA removal, microporous mineral sorption coupled with microwave-induced degradation has the unique advantages of being able to simultaneously remove NDMA and DMA and cause their full mineralization, and thus could serve as a promising alternative method.


Dimethylamine (DMA); Microporous mineral; Microwave-induced degradation; N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA); Sorption; Water treatment

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