Degradation of the antifungal pharmaceutical clotrimazole by UV-C and Vacuum-UV irradiation: kinetics, transformation products and attenuation of toxicity

Nuno P.F. Gonçalves, Oihane Del Puerto Bengoetxea, Claudio Medana, Paola Calza, Peter Roslev

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Azole fungicides are frequently detected as water contaminants due to extensive societal use, and these broad-spectrum antifungal chemicals can cause harmful effects in non-target organisms. Vacuum ultraviolet (VUV) treatment is an efficient and green technology that produces hydroxyl radical to remove contaminants from water. This study investigated the potential of UVC (254 nm) and combined VUV/UVC (185/254 nm) treatment to remove the widely used antifungal compound clotrimazole from water. Degradation kinetics, degradation mechanisms, and toxicity mitigation were investigated using a VUV photoreactor. Toxicity of clotrimazole to aquatic organisms before and after UV treatment were investigated using the luminescent bacterium Aliivibrio fischeri, the bioluminescent yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae BLYR, the filamentous fungus Fusarium graminearum, the freshwater microalga Raphidocelis subcapitata, and the crustacean Daphnia magna. VUV irradiation efficiently degraded the persistent pollutant clotrimazole at elevated concentrations (mg/L) and at environmental concentrations (µg/L) with > 50% abatement in 1 min and > 95% removal within 32 min. VUV photolysis produced 8 transformation products manly resulting from drug hydroxylation in the phenyl ring and/or imidazole group followed by ring opening or loss of the imidazole moiety. Substantial decrease in aquatic toxicity was observed after UV treatment suggesting that VUV irradiation of aqueous clotrimazole generated less-toxic transformation products.

Original languageEnglish
Article number106275
JournalJournal of Environmental Chemical Engineering
Volume9
Issue number5
ISSN2213-3437
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2021

Keywords

  • Azole fungicides
  • Clotrimazole
  • Ecotoxicity
  • Photolysis
  • Vacuum UV and UV-C

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