Interactions of fluoroquinolone antibiotics with sodium hypochlorite in bromide-containing synthetic water: Reaction kinetics and transformation pathways

Kefu Yu , Zihan Pan , Yunjie Zhu , Min Wei , Yuanyuan Zhang


Received June 23, 2020,Revised , Accepted September 02, 2020, Available online October 02, 2020

Volume 102,2021,Pages 170-184

Seven popular fluoroquinolone antibiotics (FQs) in synthetic marine aquaculture water were subject to sodium hypochlorite (NaClO) disinfection scenario to investigate their reaction kinetics and transformation during chlorination. Reactivity of each FQ to NaClO was following the order of ofloxacin (OFL) > enrofloxacin (ENR) > lomefloxacin (LOM) > ciprofloxacin (CIP) ~ norfloxacin (NOR) >> pipemedic acid (PIP), while flumequine did not exhibit reactivity. The coexisting chlorine ions and sulfate ions in the water slightly facilitated the oxidation of FQs by NaClO, while humic acid was inhibitable to their degradation. The bromide ions promoted degradation of CIP and LOM, but restrained oxidation of OFL and ENR. By analysis of liquid chromatography with tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS), eight kinds of emerging brominated disinfection byproducts (Br-DBPs) caused by FQS were primarily identified in the chlorinated synthetic marine culture water. Through density functional theory calculation, the highest-occupied molecular orbital (HOMO) and the lowest-unoccupied molecular orbital (LUMO) characteristic as well as the charge distribution of the FQs were obtained to clarify transformation mechanisms. Their formation involved decarboxylation, ring-opening/closure, dealkylation and halogenation. Chlorine substitution occurred on the ortho-position of FQs's N4 and bromine substitution occurred on C8 position. The piperazine ring containing tertiary amine was comparatively stable, while this moiety with a secondary amine structure would break down during chlorination. Additionally, logKow and logBAF of transformation products were calculated by EPI-SuiteTM to analyze their bioaccumulation. The values indicated that Br-DBPs are easier to accumulate in the aquatic organism relative to their chloro-analogues and parent compounds.

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