Fate of Citalopram During Water Treatment With O3, ClO2, UV and Fenton Oxidation

Chemosphere. 2012 Sep;89(2):129-35. doi: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2012.05.024. Epub 2012 Jun 15.


In the present study we investigate the fate of citalopram (CIT) at neutral pH using advanced water treatment technologies that include O(3), ClO(2) oxidation, UV irradiation and Fenton oxidation. The ozonation resulted in 80% reduction after 30 min treatment. Oxidation with ClO(2) removed>90% CIT at a dosage of 0.1 mg L(-1). During UV irradiation 85% reduction was achieved after 5 min, while Fenton with addition of 14 mg L(-1) (Fe(2+)) resulted in 90% reduction of CIT. During these treatment experiments transformation products (TPs) were formed from CIT, where five compounds were identified by using high resolution and tandem mass spectrometry. Among these desmethyl-citalopram and citalopram N-oxide have been previously identified as human metabolites, while three are novel and published here for the first time. The three TPs are a hydroxylated dimethylamino-side chain derivative, a butyrolactone derivative and a defluorinated derivative of CIT.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Chlorine Compounds / chemistry*
  • Citalopram / chemistry*
  • Citalopram / isolation & purification
  • Humans
  • Hydrogen Peroxide / chemistry*
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Iron / chemistry*
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Oxides / chemistry*
  • Ozone / chemistry*
  • Ultraviolet Rays*
  • Waste Disposal, Fluid / methods*
  • Water / chemistry*
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical / chemistry
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical / isolation & purification


  • Chlorine Compounds
  • Fenton's reagent
  • Oxides
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical
  • Water
  • Citalopram
  • Ozone
  • chlorine dioxide
  • Hydrogen Peroxide
  • Iron