The oxidation of propranolol (PPL), a β-blocker by ferrate(VI) (Fe(VI)) was studied by performing kinetics, stoichiometry, and analysis of the reaction products. The rate law for the oxidation of PPL by Fe(VI) was first-order with respect to each reactant. The dependence of second-order rate constants of the reaction of Fe(VI) and PPL on pH was explained using acid-base equilibrium of Fe(VI) and PPL. The required molar stoichiometry for the complete removal of PPL was determined to be 6:1 ([Fe(VI)]:[PPL]). The identified products using liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry were oxidized product (OP)-292, OP-308, and OP-282. The formed OPs could possibly compete with the parent molecule to react with Fe(VI) and thus resulted in a non-linear relationship between degradation of PPL and the added amount of Fe(VI). Rate and removal studies indicate the Fe(VI) is able to oxidize PPL and hence can also oxidize other β-blockers, e.g., atenolol and metoprolol.
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