Mineralization of antibiotic sulfamethoxazole by photoelectro-Fenton treatment using activated carbon fiber cathode and under UVA irradiation

The results indicate the aromatic amino group of SMX is a primary site for OH attack, with the initial nitrogen of SMX progressively being converted into NH4+ ion

Aimin Wang; Yu-You Li; Adriana Ledezma Estrada


Scholarcy highlights

  • Sulfamethoxazole, one of the most prescribed pharmaceuticals, is a synthetic antimicrobial frequently used in human medicine to treat bronchitis and urinary tract infections and in veterinary medicine, to prevent and treat infections, and to promote growth in food-producing animals
  • We have demonstrated a performance comparison of the anodic oxidation, AO in the presence of electrogenerated H2O2, AO-H2O2-UVA, EF and PEF processes for the mineralization of SMX in an acidic aqueous solution
  • The slow total organic carbon removal rate is attained during the AO-H2O2 and AO-H2O2-UVA methods were used
  • SMX is hardly mineralized by the AO process for the poor catalytic ability of RuO2/Ti anode, which is unable to convert significant amounts of aromatic intermediates into carboxylic acids
  • The original nitrogen of the antibiotic drug is mainly lost as NH4+ ion along with a very small proportion of NO3− ion in all cases, their higher concentrations are achieved in the EF and PEF processes
  • We have identified six primary aromatic intermediates during the PEF process by means of LC–MS analysis, which is mainly issued from the hydroxylation of the aromatic ring or/and isoxazole ring, accompanied by the substitution of the amine group or methyl group by OH
  • A comprehensive degradation pathway for SMX mineralization that involves with the OH as the main oxidant is proposed

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