Oxidation kinetics of antibiotics during water treatment with potassium permanganate

Lanhua Hu, Heather M. Martin, Timothy J. Strathmann

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The ubiquitous occurrence of antibiotics in aquatic environments raises concerns about potential adverse effects on aquatic ecology and human health, including the promotion of increased antibiotic resistance. This study examined the oxidation of three widely detected antibiotics (ciprofloxacin, lincomycin, and trimethoprim) by potassium permanganate [KMnO4; Mn(VII)]. Reaction kinetics were described by second-order rate laws, with apparent second-order rate constants (K2)at pH7and25 ° C in the order of 0.61 ± 0.02 M-1 s-1 (ciprofloxacin) < 1.6 ± 0.1 M-1 s-1 (trimethoprim) < 3.6 ± 0.1 M-1 s-1 (lincomycin). Arrhenius temperature dependence was observed with apparent activation energies (Ea) ranging from 49 kJ mol-1 (trimethoprim) to 68 kJ mol-1 (lincomycin). Rates of lincomycin and trimethoprim oxidation exhibited marked pH dependences, whereas pH had only a small effect on rates of ciprofloxacin oxidation. The effects of pH were quantitatively described by considering parallel reactions between KMnO4 and individual acid-base species of the target antibiotics. Predictions from a kinetic model that included temperature, KMnO4 dosage, pH, and source water oxidant demand as input parameters agreed reasonably well with measurements of trimethoprim and lincomycin oxidation in six drinking water utility sources. Although Mn(VII) reactivity with the antibiotics was lower than that reported for ozone and free chlorine, its high selectivity and stability suggests a promising oxidant for treating sensitive micropollutants in organic-rich matrices (e.g., wastewater).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6416-6422
Number of pages7
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Issue number16
StatePublished - Aug 15 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry


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