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Water Res. 2016 Nov 15;105:274-281. doi: 10.1016/j.watres.2016.08.065. Epub 2016 Aug 31.

The control of N-nitrosodimethylamine, Halonitromethane, and Trihalomethane precursors by Nanofiltration.

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Department of Environmental Engineering and Earth Sciences, Clemson University, Anderson, SC 29625, USA.
Department of Environmental Engineering and Earth Sciences, Clemson University, Anderson, SC 29625, USA. Electronic address:


Nanofiltration (NF) is a promising technology for removing precursors of disinfection byproducts (DBPs) from source waters prior to oxidant addition in water treatment. The aims of this study were to investigate (i) the removal efficiencies of N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), halonitromethane (HNM), and trihalomethane (THM) precursors by NF membranes from different source water types (i.e. surface water, wastewater impacted surface water, and municipal and industrial wastewater treatment effluents), (ii) the impact of membrane type, and (iii) the effects of background water components (i.e., pH, ionic strength, and Ca2+) on the removal of selected DBP precursors from different source waters. The results showed the overall precursor removal efficiencies were 57-83%, 48-87%, and 72-97% for NDMA, HNM, and THM precursors, respectively. The removal of NDMA precursors decreased with the increases in average molecular weight cut off and negative surface charge of NF membranes tested, while the removal of THM precursors was slightly affected. pH changes increased the removal of NDMA precursors, but pH did not affect the removal of THM and HNM precursors in municipal WWTP effluent. On the other hand, pH changes had little or no effect on DBP removal from industrial WWTP effluent. In addition, regardless of the membrane type or background water type/characteristics, ionic strength did not show any impact on DBP precursor removals. Lastly, an increase in Ca2+ concentration enhanced the removal of NDMA precursors while a slight decrease and no effect was observed for THM and HNM precursors, respectively, in municipal WWTP effluent.


DBP precursors; HNM; NDMA; Nanofiltration; THM; Water chemistry

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