Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 24, Issue 30, pp 23658–23665 | Cite as

Gamma irradiation-induced decomposition of sulfamethoxazole in aqueous solution: the influence of additives, biological inhibitory, and degradation mechanisms

  • Jinjin Wang
  • Ziyan Guo
  • Xiaoyu Shen
  • Qingjun Guo
  • Yongfu Zhao
  • Shengnan Zhu
  • Zhaobing Guo
Research Article


Sulfamethoxazole (SMX) was decomposed by using gamma irradiation in the presence of different additives such as NO3 , NO2 , Cr(VI), 2-propanol, and tert-butanol. The results demonstrated that NO3 , NO2 , 2-propanol, and tert-butanol inhibited SMX radiolytic removal. However, there existed a synergetic effect for radiolytic removal of the mixture containing SMX and Cr(VI). At an absorbed dose of 150 Gy, the removal percentages of SMX and Cr(VI) in the mixture were 73.5 and 84.6%, respectively, which was higher than the removal percentages of 70.6 and 4.1% for the single component of SMX and Cr(VI). This provides us an insight into treating the combined pollution in micro-polluted water. The SMX radiolytic removal followed a pseudo first-order reaction kinetic model, and the rate constant ratios of ·OH, eaq , and H· towards SMX radiolysis were 10.4:1:2.9. In addition, 24-h bio-inhibitory to the macroalgae of SMX solution during gamma irradiation reached the maximum of 0.85 at an adsorbed dose of 100 Gy, then gradually decreased with the increasing adsorbed dose. Based on LC-MS analysis and quantum chemical calculation, the degradation intermediates were determined and concluded that SMX radiolytic removal was mainly via ·OH radical attack and direct decomposition of SMX molecule by gamma ray.


Gamma irradiation Sulfamethoxazole Degradation mechanisms Cr(VI) Biological toxicity 



We gratefully acknowledge supports from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (41373023, 91544229/002, and 41625006) and Jiangsu Province “333 Talent Project”; Sponsored by Jiangsu Province “Qing Lan Project”; Jiangsu Student Innovation Training Program “DMS formation of typical HAB species in the Yangtze estuary adjacent waters under polluted conditions”; A Project Funded by the Priority Academic Program Development of Jiangsu Higher Education Institutions.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Collaborative Innovation Center Atmospheric Environment and Equipment TechnologyNanjingChina
  2. 2.School of Environmental Science and EngineeringNanjing University of Information Science & TechnologyNanjingChina
  3. 3.Jiangsu Key Laboratory of Atmospheric Environment Monitoring and Pollution ControlNanjingChina
  4. 4.Center for Environmental Remediation, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources ResearchChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  5. 5.Institute of Application of Atomic Energy in AgricultureJiangsu Academy of Agricultural SciencesNanjingChina

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