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Identification of Degradation Products of Erythromycin A Arising from Ozone and Advanced Oxidation Process Treatment

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The degradation products of the macrolide antibiotic erythromycin A (ERY) arising from direct ozone attack and hydroxyl radical attack are presented for the first time. Ozone treatment was carried out by spiking ozone stock solutions to solutions containing ERY—ERY:O3  =  1:5 and 1:10 (M:M), while, in parallel, t-BuOH was used as a hydroxyl radical (•OH) scavenger. The advanced oxidation processes (AOPs) O3/UV, O3/H2O2, and UV/H2O2 were carried out to recognize and verify possible differences between their primary degradation products; the initial concentrations were ERY:O3  =  1:5 (M:M), ERY:O3:H2O2  =  1:5:5 (M:M:M), or ERY:H2O2  =  1:5 (M:M), respectively. Six degradation products were identified from ozonation—one originates from direct ozone attack on the tertiary amine group, while the others arise from radical ion attack, which might be formed during degradation of O3 in water. Fewer primary degradation products were observed arising from •OH-based treatments (AOP) than from ozonation, possibly because the reaction of •OH radicals is non-selective and typically is diffusion-controlled. Four degradation products were detected by •OH radical attacks; two of them already were observed during ozonation, with one as an oxidized ERY molecule and the other as a non-oxidized fragment of the ERY molecule.

Keywords: dealkylation; hydroxyl radical; liquid chromatography‐mass spectrometry; macrolide; ozonation; pharmaceutical

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2010-09-01

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  • Water Environment Research® (WER®) publishes peer-reviewed research papers, research notes, state-of-the-art and critical reviews on original, fundamental and applied research in all scientific and technical areas related to water quality, pollution control, and management. An annual Literature Review provides a review of published books and articles on water quality topics from the previous year.

    Published as: Sewage Works Journal, 1928 - 1949; Sewage and Industrial Wastes, 1950 - 1959; Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, 1959 - Oct 1989; Research Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, Nov 1989 - 1991; Water Environment Research, 1992 - present.
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