Photodegradation of the antineoplastic cyclophosphamide: A comparative study of the efficiencies of UV/H2O2, UV/Fe(2+)/H2O2 and UV/TiO2 processes

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Anticancer drugs are harmful substances that can have carcinogenic, mutagenic, teratogenic, genotoxic, and cytotoxic effects even at low concentrations. More than 50years after its introduction, the alkylating agent cyclophosphamide (CP) is still one of the most consumed anticancer drug worldwide. CP has been detected in water bodies in several studies and is known as being persistent in the aquatic environment. As the traditional water and wastewater treatment technologies are not able to remove CP from the water, different treatment options such as advanced oxidation processes (AOPs) are under discussion to eliminate these compounds. The present study investigated the degradation of CP by three different AOPs: UV/H2O2, UV/Fe(2+)/H2O2 and UV/TiO2. The light source was a Hg medium-pressure lamp. Prescreening tests were carried out and afterwards experiments based on the optimized conditions were performed. The primary elimination of the parent compounds and the detection of transformation products (TPs) were monitored with LC-UV-MS/MS analysis, whereas the degree of mineralization was monitored by measuring the dissolved organic carbon (DOC). Ecotoxicological assays were carried out with the luminescent bacteria Vibrio fischeri. CP was completely degraded in all treatments and UV/Fe(2+)/H2O2 was the fastest process, followed by UV/H2O2 and UV/TiO2. All the reactions obeyed pseudo-first order kinetics. Considering the mineralization UV/Fe(2+)/H2O2 and UV/TiO2 were the most efficient process with mineralization degrees higher than 85%, whereas UV/H2O2 achieved 72.5% of DOC removal. Five transformation products were formed during the reactions and identified. None of them showed significant toxicity against V. fischeri.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)538-546
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 01.02.2015

    Research areas

  • Chemistry - Nachhaltige Chemie
  • Advanced oxidation, Cyclophosphamide, Degradation, Ecotoxicity, Mineralization, Transformation products