Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 25, Issue 30, pp 30271–30280 | Cite as

Role of dissolved organic matter from natural biofilms in oxytetracycline photodegradation

  • Xiuyi Hua
  • Zhenhao Zhao
  • Liwen Zhang
  • Deming Dong
  • Zhiyong GuoEmail author
Research Article


Dissolved organic matter (DOM) is one of the most important factors that influence the photodegradation of antibiotics in the aquatic environment. However, the mechanisms by which DOM produced by natural biofilms (BDOM) influences photodegradation are poorly understood. Here, the influences of BDOM and fulvic acid (FA) as model DOM on the photodegradation of the antibiotic oxytetracycline (OTC) were investigated, and the differences between the characteristics of BDOM and FA were determined by ultraviolet, infrared, and three-dimensional fluorescence spectrum analyses. In addition, an experiment on the scavengers of reactive oxygen species (ROS) was also conducted to explore related mechanisms. The results indicated that the aromaticity degree and molecular weight of BDOM were lower than those of FA. The OTC photodegradation rates increased from 9.7 × 10−2 to 19.9 × 10−2 min−1 with increasing BDOM concentration, while they decreased from 8.9 × 10−2 to 5.6 × 10−2 min−1 with increasing FA concentration. Excited triplet-state BDOM (3BDOM*) and singlet oxygen (1O2) simultaneously promoted the photodegradation of H2OTC and HOTC. However, FA inhibited OTC photodegradation through strong light-shielding effects. These results are beneficial for understanding the effects of natural biofilms on the antibiotic photodegradation in the aquatic environment.


Antibiotic Photochemical degradation Reactive oxygen species Humic substance Periphyton Algae 



This study was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Nos. 21577047 and 21307041), and the 111 Project (No. B16020).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

11356_2018_3017_MOESM1_ESM.doc (1 mb)
ESM 1 (DOC 1059 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Groundwater Resources and Environment, Ministry of Education; Jilin Provincial Key Laboratory of Water Resources and Environment; College of Environment and ResourcesJilin UniversityChangchunChina

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