The treatment of aqueous solutions of the antibiotic sulfachloropyridazine (SCP) was carried out at the natural pH of the solution (pH 4.5) with hydroxyl radicals ( OH) generated at a BDD anode surface by electro-oxidation using an undivided electrochemical cell equipped with a three-dimensional carbon-felt cathode. Hydroxyl radicals are powerful oxidants and react with the antibiotic leading to its overall mineralization. The kinetic study showed that oxidative degradation of SCP follows pseudo first-order reaction kinetics, with a relatively short degradation time. The degree of mineralization of SCP solutions increased with the applied current, being higher than 95% after 8h of electrolysis at 350mA or higher current. To determine the degradation pathway upon the action of hydroxyl radicals, the cyclic and aliphatic by-products, as well as the released inorganic ions, were identified and quantified over electrolysis time. The values of the rate constants of reactions between OH and the SCP and its intermediates were determined by the competition kinetics method using p-hydroxybenzoic acid. The absolute rate constant for the OH-mediated degradation of SCP was found to be 1.92×109 M−1 s−1. Toxicity assessment by the Microtox® method during the electro-oxidation of SCP solutions revealed the formation of compounds that can be more toxic than the parent molecule, but the overall results confirm the effectiveness of this electrochemical process for the removal of the antibiotic SCP and its by-products from aqueous media.
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