High-performance liquid chromatography with fluorescence detection for aqueous analysis of nanogram-level N-nitrosodimethylamine

Woosuk Cha, Peter Fox, Brijesh Nalinakumari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


High-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) and fluorescence derivatization were applied for a nanogram-level N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) analysis of water samples. For the analysis of N-nitrosodimethylamine, samples were first denitrosated by a mixed solution of hydrobromic acid and acetic acid to produce dimethylamine, which was derivatized with dansyl chloride for HPLC fluorescence detection. Fluorescence detection was optimized with excitation and emission wavelengths of 340 and 530 nm, respectively. pH adjustment after denitrosation was necessary to maximize fluorescence intensity with pHs in the range of 9-12. A dansyl chloride concentration of 500 mg l-1 was found to be optimal for measuring a fluorescence signal. An instrumental detection limit of 0.1 ng of NDMA was possible with fluorescence derivatization. The NDMA in water samples was extracted by continuous solid-phase extraction using Ambersorb 572. Although the determination of NDMA was variable at lower concentrations (less than 200 ng l-1), it was observed that the NDMA detection limit with this method could be lowered to a concentration of 10 ng l-1. Another benefit of this method can be found in its selectivity for NDMA. Unlike gas chromatographic (GC) methods, this method generates a distinct peak for NDMA without interference even in the complex matrix of wastewater effluents. The HPLC with fluorescence derivatization method may be applicable for determining NDMA in water and wastewater samples for various research purposes and for screening environmental samples.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)109-116
Number of pages8
JournalAnalytica Chimica Acta
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 27 2006


  • Dansyl chloride
  • Denitrosation
  • Fluorescence derivatization
  • HPLC
  • N-Nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA)
  • Wastewater

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Spectroscopy


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