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

Mahmut S. Ersan, David A. Ladner, Tanju Karanfil

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)274-281
Number of pages8
JournalWater Research
StatePublished - Nov 15 2016
Externally publishedYes


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

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Water Science and Technology
  • Ecological Modeling
  • Pollution
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Civil and Structural Engineering


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