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Title: Oxidation of β-Lactam Antibiotics by Peracetic Acid: Reaction Kinetics, Product and Pathway Evaluation
Peracetic acid (PAA) is a disinfection oxidant used in many industries including wastewater treatment. β-Lactams, a group of widely prescribed antibiotics, are frequently detected in wastewater effluent and in the natural aquatic environment. The reaction kinetics and transformation of seven β-lactams (cefalexin (CFX), cefadroxil (CFR), cefapirin (CFP), cephalothin (CFT), ampicillin (AMP), amoxicillin (AMX) and penicillin G (PG)) toward PAA were investigated to elucidate the behavior of β-lactams during PAA oxidation processes. The reaction follows second-order kinetics and is much faster at pH 5 and 7 than at pH 9 due to speciation of PAA. Reactivity to PAA follows the order of CFR ~ CFX > AMP ~ AMX > CFT ~ CFP ~ PG and is related to β-lactam’s nucleophilicity. The thioether sulfur of β-lactams is attacked by PAA to generate sulfoxide products. Presence of the phenylglycinyl amino group on β-lactams can significantly influence electron distribution and the highest occupied molecular orbital (HOMO) location and energy in ways that enhance the reactivity to PAA. Reaction rate constants obtained in clean water matrix can be used to accurately model the decay of β-lactams by PAA in surface water matrix and only slightly overestimate the decay in wastewater matrix. Results of this study indicate that the oxidative transformation of β-lactams by PAA can be expected under appropriate wastewater treatment conditions.  more » « less
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Water research
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National Science Foundation
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