Proposed transformation pathway and evolution profile of diclofenac and ibuprofen transformation products during (sono)photocatalysis
Torrens, V. Osorio
SourceApplied Catalysis B: Environmental
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Liquid chromatography time-of-flight mass spectrometry (UPLC/ESI–QToF–MS) was used for the elucidation of the main transformation products (TPs) resulting from the degradation of diclofenac (DCF) and ibuprofen (IBP) during the application of various advanced oxidation processes in aqueous matrices. The examined processes were TiO2 photocatalysis driven by UV-A or simulated solar irradiation, sonolysis, and UV-A photocatalysis integrated with ultrasound irradiation (sonophotocatalysis). A comparison between the applied treatment processes was performed with respect to the substrates first-order kinetic rate constant. When compared with sonolysis and UV-A photocatalysis, a higher degradation rate was observed for sonophotocatalysis in the presence of 500mgL−1 TiO2. Seven TPs of IBP and ten TPs of DCF under UV-A and simulated solar irradiation photocatalysis and sonophotocatalysis, formed by consecutive attack of hydroxyl radicals (HO•) in concomitance with the degradation of the primary compounds, were tentatively identified. Overall, no differences were observed in the nature of TPs formed for each substrate among the experiments performed, indicating the involvement of similar reaction mechanisms. The degradation pathway of IBP includes mainly decarboxylation, demethylation and hydroxylation reactions, while the oxidation of DCF, mainly proceeded by oxidation and hydroxylation reactions between chloroaniline and phenylacetic acid. An important observation made during the experiments was that the hydroxylated species (1′-OH-IBP2′-OH-IBP4′-OH-DCF5′-OH-DCF) remained in the solution until 120min. Finally, the results demonstrated the capacity of the sonophotocatalysis to reduce the initial toxicity of IBP and DCF aqueous solutions against the water flea Daphnia magna yielding 20% and 40% immobilization, respectively, at the end of the treatment. "