Physicochemical treatment of three chemotherap tamoxifen, and cyclophosphamide

Zhuo Chen, Gunyoung Park, Pierre Herckes, Paul Westerhoff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


The removal of three chemotherapy drugs including irinotecan, tamoxifen, and cyclophosphamide in water was examined by both physical and chemical treatment processes. Powdered activated carbon (PAC) absorption tests and oxidation by ozone or an advanced oxidation process (hydrogen peroxide and ultraviolet irradiation) were conducted on de-ionized water samples spiked with these drugs. Liquid chromatography coupled with tandem mass spectroscopy was successfully applied for the selective and sensitive determination of these three compounds. Removal of the three selected drugs in water samples by PAC was found to be dependant on PAC dosage. The Freundlich isotherm coefficients revealed the PAC absorption capacity sequence as tamoxifen 〉 irinotecan 〉 cyclophosphamide. Ozone was found to be effective in removing tamoxifen and irinotecan but not able to destroy cyclophosphamide in water. Advanced oxidation processes such as UV/H2O2 were capable of removing all three tested chemotherapy drugs more rapidly compared to ozone alone. This research suggests that treatment processes located within hospitals, wastewater treatment plants or drinking water treatment plants would be able to achieve partial removal of several chemotherapy drugs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)254-260
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Advanced Oxidation Technologies
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 2008


  • Absorption
  • Chemotherapy drugs
  • Oxidation
  • Physicochemical treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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