Adsorption characteristics of N-nitrosodimethylamine from aqueous solution on surface-modified activated carbons

Xiaodong Dai, Linda Zou, Zifeng Yan, Mary Millikan

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32 Scopus citations


This study investigated the removal of N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) by an adsorption mechanism using commercially available activated carbons and surface-modified activated carbons. The effects of the modification on the properties of the activated carbon were studied by N2 adsorption/desorption, Diffuse Reflectance Infrared Fourier Transmission (DRIFT) analysis and X-Ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS). Adsorption experiments revealed that the activated carbons demonstrated a greater capacity for NDMA adsorption capacity than can be achieved using zeolite. The equilibrium data was fitted to the Freundlich equation and it was found that the adsorption capacity was significantly influenced by the micropore size, relative pore volume and surface characteristics. Adsorption experiments were conducted using unmodified and modified activated carbons. The results indicated that the adsorption capacity of NDMA can be significantly improved by heat treatment and doping of TiO2 particles. This was because the surface treatments yielded more hydrophobic sites and fewer oxygen-containing surface functional groups, and consequently an increased capacity for NDMA adsorption.

Original languageBritish English
Pages (from-to)51-56
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Hazardous Materials
Issue number1
StatePublished - 30 Aug 2009


  • Activated carbon
  • Disinfection by-product
  • Hydrophobic
  • Surface modification
  • Water reuse


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