MOSCOW, November 16. Scientists from the Mendeleev Russian Chemical Technology University have developed a method for treating wastewater from the antibacterial agent furatsilin, which cannot be done using traditional methods, the university press service reported .
“”As a result of the study, it was found that the most effective in electrochemical oxidation is the use of a diamond anode doped with boron. The material of the cathode does not matter, since the electrodes must be separated from each other,” the report says.
This is explained by the fact that the electrochemical oxidation reaction, leading to the neutralization of the active components of nitrofurazone, occurs at the anode, and when a parallel reduction reaction simultaneously occurs at the cathode, the formation of unpredictable and potentially dangerous substances from the intermediate products of the two reactions is possible. “When using the electrochemical oxidation technique, guaranteed water purification from active components takes about 30 minutes,” the university added.
According to the developers of the new method, the global problem of water pollution due to the increase in the volume of wastewater generation and discharge is becoming more acute every year. It is noted that it is impossible to find a universal cleaning agent, because many active impurities, such as, for example, drug components, require selective action.
“The problem has become especially urgent due to the widespread use of antibacterial drugs in everyday life (including due to the global pandemic SARS-CoV-2) and agriculture. Components of antibacterial drugs entering the hydrosphere can lead to the formation of toxic compounds, cause significant harm to aquatic biocenoses, and also lead to the emergence of new strains of bacteria that are resistant to the action of existing antibiotics,” the press service of the Russian Chemical Technical University emphasized.
The university called it particularly dangerous that the discharge of wastewater containing anti-inflammatory, hormonal, antihistamine, antiviral and analgesic drugs is currently not controlled in any way in most countries, and their potential danger has not been fully studied. One of the most promising areas for purifying water from pharmaceutical components is the method of electrochemical oxidation, scientists said. In the study, they assessed how effective this method would be for purifying the antibacterial drug nitrofurazone, better known as furatsilin. It is used in agriculture to treat animals, and is also often prescribed for the treatment of tonsillitis.
“Traditional purification methods do not have any effect on this substance, which is why the development of methods for its neutralization in wastewater is a priority. As part of scientific work, it has been established that the use of electrooxidation can also be associated with certain difficulties: firstly, incomplete oxidation can lead to the formation of dangerous toxic substances, and, secondly, for the effective use of this technique it is necessary to accurately determine the time and conditions for oxidation,” the Russian Chemical Technical University spoke about the difficulties overcome.