Formation of N-nitrosoamines during Oxidation of Tertiary Amines by Hydrogen Peroxide

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T. Trégner and J. Trejbal

Department of Organic Technology, University of Chemistry and Technology, Prague

Keywords: N-nitrosoamines, tertiary amines, hydrogen peroxide, oxidation, amine oxides, nitrosation, nitrosating agent


This review deals with the mechanism of the formation of carcinogenic N-nitrosoamines in the production of amine oxides by the oxidation of tertiary amines with hydrogen peroxide. The crucial point is the nature of the nitrogen substrate and nitrosating species as they are not added to the process directly. As the nitrogen substrates, we consider particularly primary and secondary amines. Various structures of the nitrosating agents are discussed, for example nitrogen oxides from the ambient air, corrosion inhibitors in the hydrogen peroxide (e.g. NaNO2) or other side nitroso compounds.


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