Chloramine (monochloramine) is a chemical compound with the formula NH2Cl. It is usually used as a dilute solution where it is used as a disinfectant. The term chloramine also refers to a family of organic compounds with the formulas R2NCl and RNCl2 (R is an organic group). Dichloramine, NHCl2, and nitrogen trichloride, NCl3, are also well known.
NH2Cl is a key intermediate in the traditional synthesis of hydrazine.
Monochloramine oxidizes sulfhydryls and disulfides in the same manner as HClO, but only possesses 0.4% of the biocidal effect of HClO.
Chloramine in tap water gives a greenish cast to the water in bulk, versus the normally bluish cast to pure water or water containing only free chlorine disinfectant. This greenish color may be observed by filling a white polyethylene bucket with chloraminated tap water and comparing it to chloramine-free water such as distilled water or a sample from a swimming pool.
Chloramine can be removed from tap water by treatment with superchlorination (10 ppm or more of free chlorine, such as from a dose of sodium hypochlorite bleach or pool sanitizer) while maintaining a pH of about 7 (such as from a dose of hydrochloric acid). Hypochlorous acid from the free chlorine strips the ammonia from the chloramine, and the ammonia outgasses from the surface of the bulk water. This process takes about 24 hours for normal tap water concentrations of a few ppm of chloramine. Residual free chlorine can then be removed by exposure to bright sunlight for about 4 hours.
Many animals are sensitive to chloramine and it must be removed from water given to many animals in zoos.
Chloramine must also be removed from the water prior to use in kidney dialysis machines, as it would come in contact with the bloodstream across a permeable membrane. However, since chloramine is neutralized by the digestive process, kidney dialysis patients can still safely drink chloramine-treated water.
Home brewers use reducing agents such as sodium metabisulfite or potassium metabisulfite to remove chloramine from brewing liquor as it, unlike chlorine, cannot be removed by boiling (A.J. DeLange). Residual sodium can cause off flavors in beer (See Brewing, Michael Lewis) so potassium metabisulfite is preferred.
In swimming pools, chloramines are formed by the reaction of free chlorine with organic substances. Chloramines, compared to free chlorine, are both less effective as a sanitizer and more irritating to the eyes of swimmers. When swimmers complain of eye irritation from "too much chlorine" in a pool, the problem is typically a high level of chloramines, caused by too little chlorine in relation to the amount of organic matter. Pool test kits designed for use by homeowners are sensitive to both free chlorine and chloramines, which can be misleading.
CITIES GEAR UP TO FLUSH IN NEW DISINFECTION CHLORAMINE IS NEW CHOICE TO DISINFECT PUBLIC WATER, BUT SOME MUST BEWARE.(LOCAL)
Feb 27, 1999; Byline: TERRI WILLIAMS, STAFF WRITER When you push the lever on the toilet and notice a pale red tint swirling in the bowl, don't...