N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) formation during ozonation of wastewater and water treatment polymers

Massimiliano Sgroi, Paolo Roccaro, Gregg Oelker, Shane A. Snyder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


N-Nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) formation by ozonation was investigated in the effluents of four different wastewater treatment plants destined for alternative reuse. Very high levels of NDMA formation were observed in wastewaters from treatment plants non operating with biological nitrogen removal. Selected experiments showed that hydroxyl radical did not have a significant role in NDMA formation during ozonation of wastewater. Furthermore, ozonation of three different polymers used for water treatment, including polyDADMAC, anionic polyacrylamide, and cationic polyacrylamide, spiked in wastewater did not increase the NDMA formation. Effluent organic matter (EfOM) likely reduced the availability of ozone in water able to react with polymers and quenched the produced ·OH radicals which limited polymer degradation and subsequent NDMA production. Excellent correlations were observed between NDMA formation, UV absorbance at 254 nm, and total fluorescence reduction. These data provide evidence that UV and fluorescence surrogates could be used for monitoring and/or controlling NDMA formation during ozonation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1618-1623
Number of pages6
StatePublished - Feb 1 2016


  • Fluorescence
  • Hydroxyl radical
  • Nitrification
  • PolyDADMAC
  • Polyacrylamide
  • UV absorbance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


Dive into the research topics of 'N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) formation during ozonation of wastewater and water treatment polymers'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this