Kinetics and mechanism of oxidation of tryptophan by ferrate(VI). Academic Article uri icon


  • Kinetics of the oxidation of tryptophan (Trp) and kynurenine (Kyn), precursors of nitrogenous disinfection byproducts (N-DBP), by ferrate(VI) (Fe(VI)O4(2-), Fe(VI)) were investigated over the acidic to basic pH range. The second-order rate constants decreased with increase in pH, which could be described by the speciation of Fe(VI) and Trp (or Kyn). The trend of pH dependence of rates for Trp (i.e., aromatic -amino acid) differs from that for glycine (i.e., aliphatic -amino acid). A nonlinear relationship between transformation of Trp and the added amount of Fe(VI) was found. This suggests that the formed intermediate oxidized products (OPs), identified by LC-PDA and LC-MS techniques, could possibly compete with Trp to react with Fe(VI). N-Formylkynurenine (NFK) at pH 7.0 and 4-hydroxyquinoline (4-OH Q) and kynurenic acid (Kyn-A) at pH 9.0 were the major OPs. Tryptophan radical formation during the reaction was confirmed by the rapid-freeze quench EPR experiments. The oxygen atom transfer from Fe(VI) to NFK was demonstrated by reacting Fe(18)O4(2-) ion with Trp. A proposed mechanism explains the identified OPs at both neutral and alkaline pH. Kinetics and OPs by Fe(VI) were compared with other oxidants (chlorine, ClO2(), O3, and ()OH).

published proceedings

  • Environ Sci Technol

author list (cited authors)

  • Casbeer, E. M., Sharma, V. K., Zajickova, Z., & Dionysiou, D. D.

citation count

  • 68

complete list of authors

  • Casbeer, Erik M||Sharma, Virender K||Zajickova, Zuzana||Dionysiou, Dionysios D

publication date

  • May 2013