Transformation of oxytetracycline by redox-active Fe(III)- and Mn(IV)-containing minerals: Processes and mechanisms

Marina Karpov, Bettina Seiwert, Vered Mordehay, Thorsten Reemtsma, Tamara Polubesova, Benny Chefetz*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Scopus citations


Abiotic mechanisms of oxytetracycline degradation by redox-active minerals, Fe(III)-saturated montmorillonite (Fe-SWy) and birnessite (δ-MnO2), were studied to better understand the environmental behavior of tetracycline antibiotics in aqueous systems. Kinetics of dissipation (adsorption, oxidation and formation of transformation products (TPs)), was investigated up to 7 days, and reaction mechanisms were elucidated based on identification of TPs by liquid chromatography mass spectrometry. Oxytetracycline was completely removed from solution by both minerals, however kinetics, TPs and mechanisms were distinct for each mineral. Oxytetracycline oxidation by δ-MnO2 occurred within minutes; 54 identified TPs were detected only in solution, most of them exhibited decreasing levels with time. In contrast, oxytetracycline was completely adsorbed by Fe-SWy, its degradation was slower, only 29 TPs were identified, among them 13 were surface-bound, and most of the TPs accumulated in the system with time. Oxytetracycline transformation by δ-MnO2 involved radicals, as was proven by electrochemical degradation. Reductive dissolution was observed for both minerals. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy demonstrated accumulation of Fe(II) on Fe-SWy surface, whereas Mn(II) was primarily released from δ-MnO2 surface. Highly oxidized carbon species (i.e., newly formed TPs) were observed on the surface of both minerals interacting with oxytetracycline. This study demonstrates the impact of structure and reactivity of redox-active minerals on removal and decomposition of tetracycline antibiotics in aqueous systems.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)136-145
Number of pages10
JournalWater Research
StatePublished - 15 Nov 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Elsevier Ltd


  • Adsorption
  • Antibiotic
  • Electrospray
  • Radical
  • Removal
  • Tetracycline


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