pH induced polychromatic UV treatment for the removal of a mixture of SMX, OTC and CIP from water

D. Avisar*, Y. Lester, H. Mamane

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

93 Scopus citations


Water and wastewater effluents contain a vast range of chemicals in mixtures that have different chemical structures and characteristics. This study presents a treatment technology for the removal of mixtures of antibiotic residues (sulfamethoxazole (SMX), oxtetracycline (OTC) and ciprofloxacin (CIP)) from contaminated water. The treatment combines pH modification of the water to an optimal value, followed by a photolytic treatment using direct polychromatic ultraviolet (UV) irradiation by medium pressure UV lamp. The pH adjustment of the treated water leads to structural modifications of the pollutant's molecule thus may enhance direct photolysis by UV light. Results showed that an increase of water pH from 5 to 7 leads to a decrease in degradation rate of SMX and an increase in degradation rate of OTC and CIP, when studied separately and not in a mixture. Thus, the optimal pH values for UV photodegradation in a mixture, involve initial photolysis at pH 5 and then gradually changing the pH from 5 to 7 during the UV exposure. For example, this resulted in 99% degradation of SMX at pH 5 and enhanced degradation of OTC and CIP from 54% and 26% to 91% and 96% respectively when pH was increased from 5 to 7. Thus the pH induced photolytic treatment has a potential in improving treatment of antibiotics in mixtures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1068-1074
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Hazardous Materials
Issue number1-3
StatePublished - 15 Mar 2010


  • Antibiotic residues
  • Micropollutants
  • Mixtures
  • Polychromatic UV
  • Removal
  • Wastewater


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