Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Environmental Engineering (MS)

Administrative Home Department

Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Advisor 1

Daisuke Minakata

Committee Member 1

David Hand

Committee Member 2

Alex Mayer


Clean safe drinking water is vital for society. With increasing water scarcity and the increased numbers of chemicals identified in waterways, it is important for us to fully understand how to destroy contaminants of concern and prevent potentially hazardous byproducts that may be produced from the degradation processes. Little is known about how nitrogen containing organics behave and degrade in current water treatment systems and therefore their role in water reuse. N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), is carcinogenic and is being formed during conventional chlorination of drinking water. Ultraviolet (UV) photooxidation has been shown to degrade NDMA, but the degradation pathways and their kinetics are not well understood. The overall goal of this study is to determine the fate of nitrogen-containing organics in UV photolysis and UV-based advanced oxidation processes. In this study we use quantum mechanical calculations to determine the elementary pathways and their kinetics for the degradation of nitrosamines. From there, the ordinary differential equations of all species involved in the degradation process were generated and solved numerically. The predicted results were compared to the experimental observations reported in the literature.