Radiolysis of paracetamol in dilute aqueous solution

László Szabó, Tünde Tóth, Renáta Homlok, Erzsébet Takács, László Wojnárovits

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

22 Citations (Scopus)


Using radiolytic experiments hydroxyl radical (main reactant in advanced oxidation processes) was shown to effectively destroy paracetamol molecules. The basic reaction is attachment to the ring. The hydroxy-cyclohexadienyl radical produced in the further reactions may transform to hydroxylated paracetamol derivatives or to quinone type molecules and acetamide. The initial efficiency of aromatic ring destruction in the absence of dissolved O2 is c.a. 10%. The efficiency is 2-3 times higher in the presence of O2 due to its reaction with intermediate hydroxy-cyclohexadienyl radical and the subsequent ring destruction reactions through peroxi radical. Upon irradiation the toxicity of solutions at low doses increases with the dose and then at higher doses it decreases. This is due to formation of compounds with higher toxicity than paracetamol (e.g. acetamide, hidroquinone). These products, however, are highly sensitive to irradiation and degrade easily.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1503-1507
Number of pages5
JournalRadiation Physics and Chemistry
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1 2012


  • Acetaminophen
  • Advanced oxidation processes
  • Hydroxyl radical
  • Paracetamol
  • Toxicity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiation

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