The journal of physical chemistry. A

Free-radical destruction of beta-lactam antibiotics in aqueous solution.

PMID 18637660


Many pharmaceutical compounds and metabolites are being found in surface and ground waters, indicating their ineffective removal by conventional wastewater treatment technologies. Advanced oxidation/reduction processes (AO/RPs), which utilize free-radical reactions to directly degrade chemical contaminants, are alternatives to traditional water treatment. This study reports the absolute rate constants for reaction of three beta-lactam antibiotics (penicillin G, penicillin V, amoxicillin) and a model compound (+)-6-aminopenicillanic acid with the two major AO/RP reactive species: hydroxyl radical ((*)OH) and hydrated electron (e(-)aq). The bimolecular reaction rate constants (M(-1) s(-1)) for penicillin G, penicillin V, amoxicillin, and (+)-6-aminopenicillanic acid for (*)OH were (7.97 +/- 0.11) x 10(9), (8.76 +/- 0.28) x 10(9), (6.94 +/- 0.44) x 10(9), and (2.40 +/- 0.05) x 10(9) and for e(-)aq were (3.92 +/- 0.10) x 10(9), (5.76 +/- 0.24) x 10(9), (3.47 +/- 0.07) x 10(9), and (3.35 +/- 0.06) x 10(9), respectively. To provide a better understanding of the decomposition of the intermediate radicals produced by hydroxyl radical reactions, transient absorption spectra were observed from 1 to 100 micros. In addition, preliminary degradation mechanisms and major products were elucidated using (137)Cs gamma irradiation and LC-MS. These data are required for both evaluating the potential use of AO/RPs for the destruction of these compounds and studies of their fate and transport in surface waters where radical chemistry may be important in assessing their lifetime.

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(+)-6-Aminopenicillanic acid, 96%