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Environ Sci Pollut Res Int. 2014;21(14):8457-65. doi: 10.1007/s11356-014-2778-y. Epub 2014 Mar 26.

Degradation of tetracycline at a boron-doped diamond anode: influence of initial pH, applied current intensity and electrolyte.

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UMTP and Department of Chemistry, University of Beira Interior, 6200-001, Covilhã, Portugal.


The anodic oxidation of tetracycline was performed in an up-flow reactor, operating in batch mode with recirculation, using as anode a boron-doped diamond electrode. The influence on the degradation rate of solution initial pH (2 to 12), applied current intensity (25 to 300 A m(-2)) and type of electrolyte (sodium sulphate or sodium chloride) were investigated. For the assays run at equal current density, with sodium sulphate as electrolyte, the solution's initial pH of 2 presented the highest absorbance and chemical oxygen demand removals. Regarding the influence of current density, for equal charge passed, the organic load removal rate decreased with the increase in applied current. When sodium sulphate was used as an electrolyte, high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) results have shown an almost complete removal of tetracycline after a 2-h assay. HPLC results have also shown the presence of oxamic acid as one of the intermediates of tetracycline anodic oxidation. The complete removal of tetracycline was much faster in the presence of chloride ions that promoted the complete degradation of this antibiotic in 30 min. However, in the presence of chloride ions, the tetracycline mineralization is slower, as observed by the lower organic carbon removal rate when compared to that of the tetracycline degradation in the presence of sulphate.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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