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Water research

Aqueous chlorination of the antibacterial agent trimethoprim: reaction kinetics and pathways.


PMID 17173950

Abstract

Trimethoprim (TMP), one of the antibacterials most frequently detected in municipal wastewaters and surface waters, reacts readily with free available chlorine (i.e., HOCl) at pH values between 3 and 9 (e.g., the pH-dependent apparent second-order rate constant, k''(app)=5.6 x 10(1)M(-1)s(-1), at pH 7). Solution pH significantly affects the rate of TMP reaction with HOCl. The reaction kinetics in reagent water systems can be well described by a second-order kinetic model incorporating speciation of both reactants and accounting for acid-mediated halogenation of TMP's 3,4,5-trimethoxybenzyl moiety. Studies with the substructure model compounds 2,4-diamino-5-methylpyrimidine and 3,4,5-trimethoxytoluene show that TMP reacts with HOCl primarily via its 3,4,5-trimethoxybenzyl moiety at acidic pH, and with its 2,4-diaminopyrimidinyl moiety at circumneutral and alkaline pH. LC/MS product analyses indicate that the TMP structure is not substantially degraded upon reactions with HOCl. Instead, a wide variety of (multi)chlorinated and hydroxylated products are formed. Experiments with real drinking water and wastewater matrixes confirmed that substantial TMP transformation can be expected for conditions typical of wastewater and drinking water chlorination.

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