Critical evaluation of rate coefficients for hydroxyl radical reactions with antibiotics: A review

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Rate coefficients (k•OH) of hydroxyl radical + antibiotic molecule reactions (c.a. 200 k•OH values for 70 molecules) were collected from published studies. Data measured in different laboratories, occasionally by different methods, were compared. Excluding the rate coefficients with values above the diffusion controlled limit and adjusting rate coefficients determined by competition kinetics, the data were averaged and the most probable values were selected. Rate coefficients for compounds with aromatic rings (e.g., amoxicillin) or conjugated double bonds (e.g., tylosin) are in the (6–8) × 109 mol−1 dm3 s−1 range. The basic reaction is radical addition. The value may be smaller when strong electron withdrawing substituent, like –NO2 is attached to the ring, and N-atoms in the aromatic ring also reduce the rate coefficient. The rate coefficients for molecules without aromatic rings are smaller with values in the (3–6) × 109 mol−1 dm3 s−1 range, where hydrogen abstraction reactions dominate. Carefully executed pulse radiolysis and steady-state experiments (with correct reference values) give similar rate coefficients.

Original languageEnglish
JournalCritical Reviews in Environmental Science and Technology
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2018



  • antibiotics
  • degradation
  • hydroxyl radical
  • rate coefficient
  • structure dependence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution

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