Amine-containing pharmaceuticals such as acetaminophen, diclofenac, and sulfamethoxazole are the most often detected pharmaceuticals in wastewater and other aquatic environments. Amine-containing pharmaceuticals can be effectively removed by chlorination. These drugs, however, may coexist in wastewater. Thus, they may compete with each other, and their chlorinated products may react with each other to form new products. In this study, competitive effects of the above three amine-containing pharmaceuticals by chlorination and their products were investigated. The priority of chlorination of these compounds was dependent upon the pH of the solution, due to the dissociation of the compounds and hypochlorite. It followed the order of sulfamethoxazole > diclofenac > acetaminophen in an acidic condition, the order of sulfamethoxazole > acetaminophen > diclofenac in a neutral condition, and the order of sulfamethoxazole ≈ acetaminophen > diclofenac in an alkaline condition. Some of the chlorinated products in single- and multiple-compound systems were the same. Dimers of sulfamethoxazole and its chlorinated products, however, were not found, but dimers of sulfamethoxazole and acetaminophen or diclofenac were found in multiple-compound systems. This finding is important because it means that new products may be produced if different amine-containing pharmaceuticals react with free chlorine simultaneously.
- amine-containing pharmaceuticals