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Free nitrous acid (FNA)-based applications have been broadly adopted in the development of novel wastewater management technologies, but a basic understanding of the effect of the chemical properties of FNA on the elimination of micropollutants is still lacking. This study aims to comprehensively evaluate FNA-based elimination of sulfamethoxazole (SMX), which is a typical species of sulphonamide antibiotics. Batch experiments were conducted under different influencing factors to investigate the antibiotics elimination processes. We found that FNA showed specific efficacy on sulphonamides characterized by sulfonamide and aniline functional groups, such as SMX. SMX degradation was affected by the initial SMX concentration, FNA concentration and solution pH and described by d[SMX]/dt=-0.29e-1.69pH[SMX]0.945[FNA]1.35. The cationic forms of SMX were more reactive towards FNA-based active components. Sulfonamide bond (S-N or C-S bonds) cleavage, nitrosubstitution, deamination and radical oxidation were proposed to be the relevant transformation pathways. The FNA-based technique was not effective for diminishing toxicity, but this process could strongly control antibacterial activity. Copyright © 2020 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Zhao Cheng, Zhiqiang Zuo, Shaolin Yang, Zhiguo Yuan, Xia Huang, Yanchen Liu. Study of free nitrous acid (FNA)-based elimination of sulfamethoxazole: Kinetics, transformation pathways, and toxicity assessment. Water research. 2021 Feb 01;189:116629

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PMID: 33249308

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