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Ozonation of the algaecide irgarol: Kinetics, transformation products, and toxicity

Ur Rehman, Syed Waqi, Wang, Huijiao, Yao, Weikun, Deantes-Espinosa, Victor M., Wang, Bin, Huang, Jun, Deng, Shubo, Yu, Gang, Wang, Yujue
Chemosphere 2019 v.236 pp. 124374
Daphnia, algae, aquatic environment, chronic toxicity, dissolved organic carbon, ecotoxicology, fish, hydroxyl radicals, ionization, oxidation, ozonation, ozone, spectrometers, structure-activity relationships, surface water, water treatment
The degradation of irgarol, a frequently detected algaecide in the aquatic environment, by ozonation was investigated in this study. The second-order rate constants for the reaction of irgarol with ozone (O3) and hydroxyl radical (OH) were determined to be 505 M−1 s−1 and 4.96 × 109 M−1 s−1, respectively. During ozonation, sixteen transformation products (TPs) of irgarol were proposed using an electrospray ionization quadrupole time-of-flight mass spectrometer. Most of the TPs are ozone-refractory compounds and therefore could only be further transformed by oxidation with OH generated from O3 decomposition during ozonation. Toxicity analysis using the ecological structure activity relationship class program indicates that some of the TPs (e.g., irgarol sulfoxide) still exhibit high acute or chronic toxicity to aquatic organisms (fish, daphnia, and algae) as the parent compound. With a typical ozone dose applied in water treatment (2 mg/L, corresponding to a specific ozone dose of 0.8 mg O3/mg dissolved organic carbon), irgarol could be completely abated in a selected surface water by ozonation. However, most of the TPs persisted in the ozonation effluent because of their low ozone reactivity. The results of this study suggest that ozonation with typical ozone doses applied in water treatment may not be able to sufficiently reduce the ecotoxicological effects of irgarol on aquatic organisms. More effective treatment processes such as ozone-based advanced oxidation processes may be required to enhance the removal of toxic TPs of irgarol in water treatment.