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Mechanism insight of acetaminophen degradation by the UV/chlorine process: kinetics, intermediates, and toxicity assessment

Li, Jiaqi, Zhou, Siqi, Li, Miao, Du, Erdeng, Liu, Xiang
Environmental science and pollution research international 2019 v.26 no.24 pp. 25012-25025
acetaminophen, acute toxicity, ammonium nitrogen, aqueous solutions, bacteria, benzene, chemical structure, chlorination, chlorine, gas chromatography-mass spectrometry, hydroxyl radicals, luminescence, pH, prediction, risk
The removal of acetaminophen (AAP) in aqueous solution by the UV/chlorine process was evaluated. The effect of chlorine dose, the initial AAP concentration, pH value, and UV intensity on the reaction were also investigated. The degradation mechanism and the ecological risk were further discussed. The results indicated that AAP degradation fitted pseudo-first-order kinetics. Compared with UV alone or dark chlorination, the combination of UV and chlorine significantly accelerated the degradation process. The AAP degradation was positively affected by chlorine dose and UV intensity, while negatively affected by the initial AAP concentration and ammonia nitrogen concentration during the UV/chlorine process. The frontier orbital theory analysis shows that the C5 position in the benzene ring of AAP is likely to be the first site attacked by HO• and Cl• radical to form the products. Twelve intermediates were identified by Q-TOF and GC-MS. The possible degradation pathways were also proposed. Luminescent bacteria experiment and ECOSAR prediction both revealed that acute toxicity of AAP degradation could only be partially reduced. Ecological risks during the UV/chlorine process need to be further evaluated.