The photodegradation of sulfamethoxazole (SMX) under UV radiation with a recyclable catalyst CoFe2O4/TiO2was examined. The reaction mechanism during the treatment was determined. The toxicity of the degradation intermediates to aquatic organisms, including the green alga Chlorella vulgaris and the brine shrimp Artemia salina was investigated. SMX was completely removed and about 50% TOC was degraded in 5 h. Sixteen intermediates were detected, from which four of them were reported for the first time in this study. Four main decay pathways, i.e., hydroxylation, cleavage of SN bond, nitration of amino group, and isomerization were proposed. About 45% of the total mass sulfur source transformed to sulfate ion, and around 25%, 1%, and 0.25% of the total nitrogen transformed to ammonium, nitrogen, and nitrite ions. The toxicity of the treated solution was significantly reduced compared to that of the parent compound SMX. A variation of the algae growth was observed, which was due to the combination of generation of toxic intermediates (i.e., sulfanilamide) and the release of inorganic substances and carbon source as additional nutrients. The adverse effect on the clearance rate of the brine shrimp was also observed, but it can be eliminated if longer degradation time is used.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Environmental Engineering
- Environmental Chemistry
- Waste Management and Disposal
- Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis