Solar photocatalytic treatment of trimethoprim in four environmental matrices at a pilot scale: transformation products and ecotoxicity evaluation

I Michael, E Hapeshi, V Osorio, S Perez, M Petrovic, A Zapata, S Malato, D Barceló, D Fatta-Kassinos
Science of the Total Environment 2012 July 15, 430: 167-73
The pilot-scale solar degradation of trimethoprim (TMP) in different water matrices (demineralized water: DW, simulated natural freshwater: SW; simulated wastewater: SWW; and real effluent: RE) was investigated in this study. DOC removal was lower in the case of SW compared to DW, which can be attributed to the presence of inorganic anions which may act as scavengers of the HO·. Furthermore, the presence of organic carbon and higher salt content in SWW and RE led to lower mineralization per dose of hydrogen peroxide compared to DW and SW. Toxicity assays in SWW and RE were also performed indicating that toxicity is attributed to the compounds present in RE and their by-products formed during solar Fenton treatment and not to the intermediates formed by the oxidation of TMP. A large number of compounds generated by the photocatalytic transformation of TMP were identified by UPLC-QToF/MS. The degradation pathway revealed differences among the four matrices; however hydroxylation, demethylation and cleavage reactions were observed in all matrices. To the best of our knowledge this is the first time that TMP degradation products have been identified by adopting a solar Fenton process at a pilot-scale set-up, using four different aqueous matrices.

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