Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 24, Issue 30, pp 23880–23892 | Cite as

Optimization and in line potentiometric monitoring of enhanced photocatalytic degradation kinetics of gemifloxacin using TiO2 nanoparticles/H2O2

  • Fawzia A. Ibrahim
  • Medhat A. Al-Ghobashy
  • Mohamed K. Abd El-Rahman
  • Ibrahim F. Abo-Elmagd
Research Article


Gemifloxacin (GEM) is a broad-spectrum quinolone antibiotic. The presence of GEM residuals in industrial and hospital wastewater has been associated with genotoxicity and antibiotic resistance. In this contribution, the photodegradation of GEM using titanium dioxide nanoparticles (TiO2NPs)/H2O2 as a catalyst was optimized to eliminate residual drug and its photodegradates with antibacterial activity. A half-factorial design was implemented, investigating the effects of pH, initial concentration, H2O2 concentration, TiO2NP loading, and irradiation time. Owing to the time-dependent, multi-transformation of GEM into a wide range of structurally related photodegradation products, the monitoring of GEM throughout the experiments was achieved using both HPLC and potentiometric ion-selective electrodes (ISE). The sensor enabled in-line tracking of residual GEM in the presence of its photodegradates in real time. Results indicated that the pH, irradiation time, and GEM initial concentration were the most significant factors. At the optimum set of experimental conditions, the reaction followed first-order reaction kinetics with a mean percentage degradation of ~ 95% in less than 30 min of irradiation time and almost complete loss of antibacterial activity against Escherichia coli. The promising results demonstrated the efficiency of UV/TiO2NP/H2O2 as a photocatalyst for the breakdown of the pharmacophore of fluoroquinolones from water samples. The high selectivity, minimal solvent consumption, and lack of harmful waste generation confirmed the superiority of in-line monitoring using ISE. Optimization and in-line monitoring protocol should be applicable also at the pharmaceutical industry scale to eliminate the risk of antibiotic resistance.


Photocatalytic degradation Wastewater treatment Ion-selective electrodes Titanium dioxide nanoparticles Factorial design Gemifloxacin 



We thank Dr. Ayman Yassin, A/Prof. of Microbiology & Immunology, Cairo University, for his help with the antimicrobial assays.

Supplementary material

11356_2017_45_MOESM1_ESM.docx (2.7 mb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 2744 kb)
11356_2017_45_MOESM2_ESM.docx (189 kb)
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Analytical Chemistry Department, Faculty of PharmacyMansoura UniversityMansouraEgypt
  2. 2.Analytical Chemistry Department, Faculty of PharmacyCairo UniversityCairoEgypt
  3. 3.Bioanalysis Research Group, School of PharmacyNew Giza UniversityGizaEgypt

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