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Ustinova M. N., Zhunusov N. S. Destruction of the active substance of tetracycline under the action of UV irradiation. Izvestiya of Saratov University. Chemistry. Biology. Ecology, 2021, vol. 21, iss. 3, pp. 246-253. DOI:

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Destruction of the active substance of tetracycline under the action of UV irradiation

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The growth of the pharmaceutical industry inevitably leads to an increase in the concentration of organic pollutants in environmental objects. The problem of inactivation of such pollutants and water treatment is extremely urgent. The aim of this work was to use combined chemical methods of destruction of tetracycline, as one of the most commonly used antibiotics. The destruction of the active substance of tetracycline under UV irradiation, UV irradiation in the presence of hydrogen peroxide, and UV irradiation in the presence of hydrogen peroxide and ferrous iron ions was studied. It has been found that the active substance of tetracycline undergoes photodestruction at a fairly high rate, the degree of destruction reaches 75% within an hour. The kinetic characteristics of all three methods have been compared. It has been shown that the most intense oxidation of the active substance of tetracycline can be achieved by combined exposure to UV radiation and an oxidizer-hydrogen peroxide, after an hour the degree of destruction reaches 85.5%. However, the destruction of the active substance of the drug under UV irradiation in the presence of hydrogen peroxide and iron ions increases the initial speed of the process by 2–4 times, but reduces the efficiency to 66.7%. Photodestruction is quite effective, but not a universal method of inactivation of pollutants of pharmaceutical origin. In combination with oxidative degradation, it can be considered as a promising method for inactivating unusable drugs, as well as a method for local wastewater treatment in clinics and pharmaceutical industries.

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