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Aromatic amines sources, environmental impact and remediation

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Aromatic amines are widely used industrial chemicals as their major sources in the environment include several chemical industry sectors such as oil refining, synthetic polymers, dyes, adhesives, rubbers, perfume, pharmaceuticals, pesticides and explosives. They result also from diesel exhaust, combustion of wood chips and rubber and tobacco smoke. Some types of aromatic amines are generated during cooking, special grilled meat and fish, as well. The intensive use and production of these compounds explains its occurrence in the environment such as in air, water and soil, thereby creating a potential for human exposure. Since aromatic amines are potential carcinogenic and toxic agents, they constitute an important class of environmental pollutants of enormous concern, which efficient removal is a crucial task for researchers, so several methods have been investigated and applied. In this chapter the types and general properties of aromatic amine compounds are reviewed. As aromatic amines are continuously entering the environment from various sources and have been designated as high priority pollutants, their presence in the environment must be monitored at concentration levels lower than 30 mg L-1, compatible with the limits allowed by the regulations. Consequently, most relevant analytical methods to detect the aromatic amines composition in environmental matrices, and for monitoring their degradation, are essential and will be presented. Those include Spectroscopy, namely UV/visible and Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR); Chromatography, in particular Thin Layer (TLC), High Performance Liquid (HPLC) and Gas chromatography (GC); Capillary electrophoresis (CE); Mass spectrometry (MS) and combination of different methods including GC-MS, HPLC-MS and CE-MS. Choosing the best methods depend on their availability, costs, detection limit and sample concentration, which sometimes need to be concentrate or pretreated. However, combined methods may give more complete results based on the complementary information. The environmental impact, toxicity and carcinogenicity of many aromatic amines have been reported and are emphasized in this chapter too. Lately, the conventional aromatic amines degradation and the alternative biodegradation processes are highlighted. Parameters affecting biodegradation, role of different electron acceptors in aerobic and anaerobic biodegradation and kinetics are discussed. Conventional processes including extraction, adsorption onto activated carbon, chemical oxidation, advanced oxidation, electrochemical techniques and irradiation suffer from drawbacks including high costs, formation of hazardous by-products and low efficiency. Biological processes, taking advantage of the naturally processes occurring in environment, have been developed and tested, proved as an economic, energy efficient and environmentally feasible alternative. Aerobic biodegradation is one of the most promising techniques for aromatic amines remediation, but has the drawback of aromatic amines autooxidation once they are exposed to oxygen, instead of their degradation. Higher costs, especially due to power consumption for aeration, can also limit its application. Anaerobic degradation technology is the novel path for treatment of a wide variety of aromatic amines, including industrial wastewater, and will be discussed. However, some are difficult to degrade under anaerobic conditions and, thus, other electron acceptors such as nitrate, iron, sulphate, manganese and carbonate have, alternatively, been tested.




Pereira, L., Mondal, P. K., & Alves, M. (2015). Aromatic amines sources, environmental impact and remediation. In Pollutants in Buildings, Water and Living Organisms (pp. 297–346). Springer International Publishing.

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