• Combined effects of dissolved organic matter, pH, ionic strength and halides on photodegradation of oxytetracycline in simulated estuarine waters.

      Zhang, Ya-Nan; Zhao, Jianchen; Zhou, Yangjian; Qu, Jiao; Chen, Jingwen; Li, Chao; Qin, Weichao; Zhao, Yahui; Peijnenburg, Willie J G M (2019-01-23)
      Estuarine waters of variable compositions are sinks for many micropollutants. The varying water properties can impact the photodegradation of organic pollutants. In this study, the combined effects of dissolved organic matter (DOM), pH, ionic strength, and halides on the photodegradation of the model organic pollutant oxytetracycline (OTC) were investigated. Suwannee River natural organic matter (SRNOM) was used as a representative DOM. The results showed that the observed photolysis rate constant (kobs) of OTC increased rapidly upon increase of pH. SRNOM induced a 11.0-17.9% decrease of the kobs for OTC. In the presence of SRNOM, the ionic strength and specific halide effects promote OTC photodegradation with a 39.2-84.2% and 7.1-28.8% increase of the kobs, respectively. The effects of SRNOM, ionic strength and halides on OTC photodegradation are pH-dependent. Direct photolysis half-lives (t1/2) of OTC were estimated in view of the more important role of direct photolysis compared to indirect photolysis. The estimated t1/2 values decreased from 187.4-206.6 d to 34.4-36.6 d as the pH increases in the Yellow River estuarine region. The results of this research demonstrate that the photodegradation rate of OTC increases rapidly in the gradient from river water to marine water in estuarine regions.
    • Continuous flow electrosorption-microbial fuel cell system for efficient removal of oxytetracycline without external electrical supply.

      Zhao, Wenjun; Qu, Jiao; Zhou, Yangjian; Zhao, Jianchen; Feng, Yong; Guo, Cuicui; Lu, Ying; Zhao, Yahui; Peijnenburg, Willie J G M; Zhang, Ya-Nan (2019-10-01)
    • Development of a metal-free black phosphorus/graphitic carbon nitride heterostructure for visible-light-driven degradation of indomethacin.

      He, Dongyang; Jin, Dexin; Cheng, Fangyuan; Zhang, Tingting; Qu, Jiao; Zhou, Yangjian; Yuan, Xing; Zhang, Ya-Nan; Peijnenburg, Willie J G M (2021-09-07)
      The development of affordable and efficient technologies for the removal of pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs) from water has recently been the subject of extensive attention. In this study, a black phosphorus/graphitic carbon nitride (BP-g-C3N4) heterostructure is fabricated as an extremely active metal-free photocatalyst via a newly-developed exfoliation strategy. The BP-g-C3N4 shows an 11 times better decomposition rate of a representative PPCPs-type pollutant, indomethacin (IDM), compared to the widely-used P25 TiO2 under real-sunlight illumination. Also, its visible-light activity is even better than that of the best photocatalysts previously developed, but only consumes 1/10-1/4 of the catalyst. The results show that BP performs a cocatalyst-like behavior to catalyze the generation of reactive oxygen species, thus speeding up the decomposition of IDM. In addition, the BP-g-C3N4 photocatalyst also exhibits excellent IDM removal efficiency in authentic water matrices (tap water, surface water, and secondarily treated sewage effluent). Large-scale application demonstration under natural sunlight further reveals the practicality of BP-g-C3N4 for real-world water treatment operations. Our work will open up new possibilities in the development of purely metal-free photocatalysts for "green" environmental remediation applications.
    • Development of a quantitative structure-activity relationship model for mechanistic interpretation and quantum yield prediction of singlet oxygen generation from dissolved organic matter.

      Zhao, Jianchen; Zhou, Yangjian; Li, Chao; Xie, Qing; Chen, Jingwen; Chen, Guangchao; Peijnenburg, Willie J G M; Zhang, Ya-Nan; Qu, Jiao (2020-04-10)
      Singlet oxygen (1O2) is capable of degrading organic contaminants and inducing cell damage and inactivation of viruses. It is mainly generated through the interaction of dissolved oxygen with excited triplet states of dissolved organic matter (DOM) in natural waters. The present study aims at revealing the underlying mechanism of 1O2 generation and providing a potential tool for predicting the quantum yield of 1O2 (Φ1O2) generation from DOM by constructing a quantitative structure-activity relationship (QSAR) model. The determined Φ1O2 values for the selected DOM-analogs range from (0.54 ± 0.23) × 10-2 to (62.03 ± 2.97) × 10-2. A QSAR model was constructed and was proved to have satisfactory goodness-of-fit and robustness. The QSAR model was successfully used to predict the Φ1O2 of Suwannee River fulvic acid. Mechanistic interpretation of the descriptors in the model showed that hydrophobicity, molecular complexity and the presence of carbonyl groups in DOM play crucial roles in the generation of 1O2 from DOM. The presence of other heteroatoms besides O, such as N and S, also affects the generation of 1O2. The results of this study provide valuable insights into the generation of 1O2 from DOM in sunlit natural waters.
    • Effect of UV/chlorine treatment on photophysical and photochemical properties of dissolved organic matter.

      Zhou, Yangjian; Cheng, Fangyuan; He, Dongyang; Zhang, Ya-Nan; Qu, Jiao; Yang, Xin; Chen, Jingwen; Peijnenburg, Willie J G M (2021-01-20)
      Dissolved organic matter (DOM) is a ubiquitous component in effluents, DOM discharged with an effluent can affect the composition and properties of natural DOM in the receiving waters. As the photophysical and photochemical properties of effluent DOM can be changed by wastewater treatment processes, the effect of UV/chlorine treatment on the photophysical and photochemical properties of DOM was investigated using Suwannee River fulvic acid (SRFA) and Suwannee River natural organic matter (SRNOM) as representatives. Results showed that the absorbance of the two DOM was significantly decreased. The evolution trends of three representative photophysical parameters upon increase of chlorine dosages were observed. Also, a decrease in DOM aromaticity, molecular weight and electron-donating capacity was observed upon increasing chlorine dosage. Quantum yields of excited triplet state of DOM (3DOM*), singlet oxygen (1O2) and hydroxyl radicals (·OH) first decreases and then increased in the UV/chlorine systems upon increasing chlorine dosages due to the different reaction pathways of the two DOM. Moreover, 3DOM* can not only be regarded as a "controller" of other reactive intermediates, but also effectively promote the photodegradation of bezafibrate, which is classified as a persistent organic contaminant. This study gives deep insights into effects of UV/chlorine on the photophysical and photochemical properties of DOM, and is helpful for understanding the dynamic roles of DOM in the photodegradation of micropollutants.
    • Simulated sunlight-induced inactivation of tetracycline resistant bacteria and effects of dissolved organic matter.

      Zhang, Ya-Nan; Zhang, Tingting; Liu, Haiyang; Qu, Jiao; Li, Chao; Chen, Jingwen; Peijnenburg, Willie J G M (2020-08-01)
    • Trace amounts of fenofibrate acid sensitize the photodegradation of bezafibrate in effluents: Mechanisms, degradation pathways, and toxicity evaluation.

      Zhou, Yangjian; Zhao, Jianchen; Zhang, Ya-Nan; Qu, Jiao; Li, Chao; Qin, Weichao; Zhao, Yahui; Chen, Jingwen; Peijnenburg, Willie J G M (2019-11-01)
      Effluent organic matter (EfOM), which is composed of background natural organic matter (NOM), soluble microbial degradation products, and trace amounts of organic pollutants, can play an important role in the photodegradation of emerging pollutants in the effluent. In this study, the impact of organic pollutants, using fenofibrate acid (FNFA) as a representative, on the photodegradation of emerging contaminants, using bezafibrate (BZF) as a representative, in effluents was investigated. It is found that BZF undergo fast degradation in the presence of FNFA although BZF is recalcitrant to degradation under simulated sunlight irradiation. The promotional effect of FNFA is due to the generation of singlet oxygen (1O2) and hydrated electrons (e-aq). Based on the structures of the identified intermediates, 1O2 initiated oxidation and e-aq initiated reduction reactions were the main photodegradation pathways of BZF in the effluents. The toxicity of the main photodegradation intermediates for BZF and FNFA was higher than that of the parent compounds, and the acute toxicity increased during simulated sunlight irradiation. The results demonstrated that trace amounts of organic compounds in EfOM can play an important role in sensitizing the photodegradation of some emerging pollutants in the effluent.
    • Unveiling the important roles of coexisting contaminants on photochemical transformations of pharmaceuticals: Fibrate drugs as a case study.

      Zhang, Ya-Nan; Zhou, Yangjian; Qu, Jiao; Chen, Jingwen; Zhao, Jianchen; Lu, Ying; Li, Chao; Xie, Qing; Peijnenburg, Willie J G M (2018-09-15)
      Pharmaceuticals are a group of ubiquitous emerging pollutants, many of which have been shown to undergo efficient photolysis in the environment. Photochemically produced reactive intermediates (PPRIs) sensitized by the pharmaceuticals in sunlit natural waters may induce photodegradation of coexisting compounds. In this study, the roles of coexisting contaminants on the phototransformation of pharmaceuticals were unveiled with the fibrate drugs gemfibrozil (GMF), fenofibrate (FNF), and fenofibric acid (FNFA) as model compounds. GMF undergoes initial concentration dependent photodegradation due to the involvement of singlet oxygen (1O2) initiated self-sensitized photolysis, and undergoes pH dependent photodegradation due to dissociation and hydroxyl radical (OH) generation. The decarboxylated intermediates of GMF and coexisting FNFA significantly accelerated the photodegradation of GMF. The promotional effects of the decarboxylated intermediates are attributed to generation of PPRIs, e.g. 1O2, superoxide (O2-), that subsequently react with GMF. Besides, FNFA can also promote the photodegradation of GMF through the electron transfer reaction from ground state GMF to excited state FNFA, leading to the formation of decarboxylated intermediates. The formed intermediates can subsequently also facilitate GMF photodegradation. The results presented here provided valuable novel insights into the effects of coexisting contaminants on the photodegradation of pharmaceuticals in polluted waters.