Water, Air, & Soil Pollution

, 230:41 | Cite as

Formation of Multiple Nitrosamines from the Ozonation of Corresponding Precursor Secondary Amines: Influencing Factors and Transformation Mechanisms

  • Wanfeng WangEmail author
  • Fang Liang
  • Yanling GuoEmail author
  • Ruijie Wu
  • Feng Pan
  • Caixia Jin
  • Jun Wang


Since nitrosamine disinfection by products is highly carcinogenic, they have attracted considerable attention due to their increased presence in ambient waterways and potable water supplies. For the present study, the potential formation of nitrosamines from corresponding precursor secondary amines during ozonation was investigated. The results revealed that five nitrosamines were observed during the ozonation of their corresponding secondary amines. The molar yields initially increased and then decreased with longer contact times and higher ozone doses. These phenomena indicated that ozone not only promoted nitrosamine formation but also degraded the formed nitrosamines. High pH had a positive influence on nitrosamine formation at room temperature. Further, coexisting substances including nitrate, nitrite, humic acid, and tert-butanol inhibited the generation of nitrosamines due to hydroxyl radical (·OH) competition and scavengers, whereas in the presence of hydroxylamine, nitrosamine formation increased considerably without ozone due to its capacity for independent formation between secondary amines and hydroxylamine. Further, the generation of nitrosamines from secondary amines was primarily attributed to O3 and ·OH oxidation, which was produced through the decomposition of ozone. The transformation pathways were mainly comprised of the indirect routes between the O3/·OH intermediates. The findings of this study were helpful toward expanding the knowledge of nitrosamine formation during the corresponding precursor secondary amine ozonation process.


Secondary amines Nitrosamines Ozonation Influencing factors Transformation pathways 



We thank Mr. Frank Boehm from Lakehead University in Canada, for reviewing the paper and correcting the English.

Funding Information

This work was supported by the National Special Funding Project for Water Pollution Control and Management of China (2014ZX07405001); the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 51208184); the special fund of Key Laboratory of Drinking Water Science and Technology, Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences (Project No. 18K04KLDWST); and the Technology Department of the Henan Science and Technology Fund Project (No. 172102310590).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

11270_2019_4091_MOESM1_ESM.doc (678 kb)
ESM 1 (DOC 677 kb)


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Key Laboratory for Yellow River and Huai River Water Environmental and Pollution Control, Ministry of Education, School of EnvironmentHenan Normal UniversityXinxiangChina
  2. 2.College of Resource and EnvironmentHenan Institute of Science and TechnologyXinxiangChina

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