Photodegradation of Ciprofloxacin, Clarithromycin and Trimethoprim: Influence of pH and Humic Acids
In view of the rising relevance of emerging pollutants in the environment, this work studies the photodegradation of three antibiotics, evaluating the effects of the pH of the medium and the concentration of dissolved organic matter. Simulated light (with a spectrum similar to that of natural sunlight) was applied to the antibiotics Ciprofloxacin (Cip), Clarithromycin (Cla) and Trimethoprim (Tri), at three different pH, and in the presence of different concentrations of humic acids. The
... acids. The sensitivity to light followed the sequence: Cip > Cla > Tri, which was inverse for the half-life (Tri > Cla > Cip). As the pH increased, the half-life generally decreased, except for Cla. Regarding the kinetic constant k, in the case of Cip and Tri it increased with the rise of pH, while decreased for Cla. The results corresponding to total organic carbon (TOC) indicate that the complete mineralization of the antibiotics was not achieved. The effect of humic acids was not marked, slightly increasing the degradation of Cip, and slightly decreasing it for Tri, while no effect was detected for Cla. These results may be relevant in terms of understanding the evolution of these antibiotics, especially when they reach different environmental compartments and receive sunlight radiation.