Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 25, Issue 35, pp 34863–34872 | Cite as

Transformation of sulfaquinoxaline by chlorine and UV light in water: kinetics and by-product identification

  • Rania Nassar
  • Samia Mokh
  • Ahmad Rifai
  • Fatmeh Chamas
  • Maha Hoteit
  • Mohamad Al IskandaraniEmail author
Advanced oxidation processes for water/wastewater treatment


Sulfaquinoxaline (SQX) is an antimicrobial of the sulfonamide class, frequently detected at low levels in drinking and surface water as organic micropollutant. The main goal of the present study is the evaluation of SQX reactivity during chlorination and UV irradiations which are two processes mainly used in water treatment plants. The SQX transformation by chlorination and UV lights (254 nm) was investigated in purified water at common conditions used for water disinfection (pH = 7.2, temperature = 25 °C, [chlorine] = 3 mg L−1). The result shows a slow degradation of SQX during photolysis compared with chlorination process. Kinetic studies that fitted a fluence-based first-order kinetic model were used to determine the kinetic constants of SQX degradation; they were equal to 0.7 × 10−4 and 0.7 × 10−2 s−1corresponding to the half time lives of 162 and 1.64 min during photolysis and chlorination, respectively. In the second step, seven by-products were generated during a chlorination and photo-transformation of SQX and identified using liquid chromatography with electrospray ionization and tandem mass spectrometry (MS-MS). SO2 extrusion and direct decomposition were the common degradation pathway during photolysis and chlorination. Hydroxylation and isomerization were observed during photodegradation only while electrophilic substitution was observed during chlorination process.


Sulfaquinoxaline Disinfection Chlorination UV photolysis Kinetic study By-products LC-MS-MS 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rania Nassar
    • 1
  • Samia Mokh
    • 2
  • Ahmad Rifai
    • 2
  • Fatmeh Chamas
    • 1
  • Maha Hoteit
    • 1
  • Mohamad Al Iskandarani
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Faculty of Public Health ILebanese UniversityHadathLebanon
  2. 2.Laboratory for Analysis of Organic Compound LACO, National Council for Scientific Research CNRSLebanese Atomic Energy Commission LAECBeirutLebanon

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