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Photo-induced oxidation of ceftriaxone by persulfate in the presence of iron oxides

Kaur, Balpreet, Kuntus, Liina, Tikker, Priit, Kattel, Eneliis, Trapido, Marina, Dulova, Niina
The Science of the total environment 2019 v.676 pp. 165-175
ceftriaxone, free radicals, groundwater, iron oxides, mineralization, oxidation, pH, pollution, pollution control
The present study focuses on degradation and mineralization of a third generation cephalosporin antibiotic ceftriaxone (CTA) in UVA- and UVC-induced persulfate (PS) system combined with heterogeneous (α-FeO(OH) and Fe3O4) activators. The CTA oxidation efficiency was investigated in buffered solution (pH 7.4) to stimulate the inhibitory properties of environmental and processed water matrices. Irrespective of the studied UV-induced persulfate system, the mineralization was less effective than CTA degradation. In turn, UVC-induced systems proved to be more effective than UVA-induced processes for decomposition of the target compound and removal of TOC. Accordingly, 2-h oxidation in UVA-induced systems resulted in partial decomposition and negligible mineralization of CTA. While the application of UVC-activated persulfate processes resulted in complete CTA degradation during the first 15 min of oxidation with the most efficient kobs of 0.53 min−1 and 38.3% TOC removal obtained in the UVC/PS system at [PS]0 = 500 μM. Groundwater (GW) trials results clearly indicated the inhibitory effect of the GW composition on the effectiveness of CTA degradation in the studied UV-induced PS-based systems, while the potential treatment efficacy in GW proved predictable based on the results obtained in the buffered UW trials. Adjusting the pH to 3 considerably improved the removal of TOC and the use of PS in both of the water matrices studied. The results of radicals scavenging experiments indicated that both SO4− and HO contributed to the CTA decomposition efficacy in the UV-induced persulfate systems, but the former was the predominant radical in all studied processes. The findings of the study strongly suggest that the UV-induced PS systems are promising treatment technologies for the abatement of cephalosporin antibiotics pollution in natural aqueous matrices.