HYDROXYL OXIDATION OF CAFFEINE IN WATER MONITORED BY ELECTROSPRAY IONIZATION MASS SPECTROSCOPY
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Caffeine in water undergoes oxidation and is quickly degraded but the organic carbon content of the aqueous solution decreases much more slowly. This presents the problem that there are organic intermediates that remain in solution and are not as efficiently oxidized as caffeine. Electrospray Ionization Mass Spectrometry was used to monitor the advanced oxidation process of caffeine. The analysis showed that caffeine is first oxidized to N-‐dimethylparabanic acid. N-‐dimethylparabanic acid is further oxidized to N-‐hydroxymethyl)parabanic acid. Caffeine falls under a group of emerging pollutants set for future regulation owing to their potentially harmful effects on human health and the environment that are yet to be extensively studied.