Removing NDMA and THMs using Ion Exchange Resins

Beita-Sandí W, Karanfil T. Removal of both N-nitrosodimethylamine and trihalomethanes precursors in a single treatment using ion exchange resins. Water Res. 2017 Jul 14;124:20-28. doi: 10.1016/j.watres.2017.07.028.

Drinking water utilities are relying more than ever on water sources impacted by wastewater effluents. Disinfection/oxidation of these waters during water treatment may lead to the formation of several disinfection by-products, including the probable human carcinogen N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) and the regulated trihalomethanes (THMs). In this study, the potential of ion exchange resins to control both NDMA and THMs precursors in a single treatment is presented. Two ion exchange resins were examined, a cation exchange resin (Plus) to target NDMA precursors and an anion exchange resin (MIEX) for THMs precursors control. We applied the resins, individually and combined, in the treatment of surface and wastewater effluent samples. The treatment with both resins removed simultaneously NDMA (43-85%) and THMs (39-65%) precursors. However, no removal of NDMA precursors was observed in the surface water with low initial NDMA FP (14 ng/L). The removals of NDMA FP and THMs FP with Plus and MIEX resins applied alone were (49-90%) and (41-69%), respectively. These results suggest no interaction between the resins, and thus the feasibility of effectively controlling NDMA and THMs precursors concomitantly. Additionally, the effects of the wastewater impact and the natural attenuation of precursors were studied. The results showed that neither the wastewater content nor the attenuation of the precursor affected the removals of NDMA and THMs precursors. Finally, experiments using a wastewater effluent sample showed that an increase in the calcium concentration resulted in a reduction in the removal of NDMA precursors of about 50%.

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