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Water research

Gamma irradiation of pharmaceutical compounds, nitroimidazoles, as a new alternative for water treatment.


PMID 19541339

Abstract

The main objectives of this study were: (1) to investigate the decomposition and mineralization of nitroimidazoles (Metronidazole [MNZ], Dimetridazole [DMZ], and Tinidazole [TNZ]) in waste and drinking water using gamma irradiation; (2) to study the decomposition kinetics of these nitroimidazoles; and (3) to evaluate the efficacy of nitroimidazole removal using radical promoters and scavengers. The results obtained showed that nitroimidazole concentrations decreased with increasing absorbed dose. No differences in irradiation kinetic constant were detected for any nitroimidazole studied (0.0014-0.0017 Gy(-1)). The decomposition yield was higher under acidic conditions than in neutral and alkaline media. Results obtained showed that, at appropriate concentrations, H(2)O(2) accelerates MNZ degradation by generating additional HO(); however, when the dosage of H(2)O(2) exceeds the optimal concentration, the efficacy of MNZ degradation is reduced. The presence of t-BuOH (HO() radical scavenger) and thiourea (HO(), H() and e(aq)(-) scavenger) reduced the MNZ irradiation rate, indicating that degradation of this pollutant can take place via two pathways: oxidation by HO() radicals and reduction by e(aq)(-) and H(). MNZ removal rate was slightly lower in subterranean and surface waters than in ultrapure water and was markedly lower in wastewater. Regardless of the water chemical composition, MNZ gamma irradiation can achieve i) a decrease in the concentration of dissolved organic carbon, and ii) a reduction in the toxicity of the system with higher gamma absorbed dose.

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