The stereoselectivity of R,. S-venlafaxine and its metabolites R,. S-O-desmethylvenlafaxine, N-desmethylvenlafaxine, O,. N-didesmethylvenlafaxine, N,. N-didesmethylvenlafaxine and tridesmethylvenlafaxine was studied in three processes: (i) anaerobic and aerobic laboratory scale tests; (ii) six wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) operating under different conditions; and (iii) a variety of wastewater treatments including conventional activated sludge, natural attenuation along a receiving river stream and storage in operational and seasonal reservoirs. In the laboratory and field studies, the degradation of the venlafaxine yielded O-desmethylvenalfaxine as the dominant metabolite under aerobic and anaerobic conditions. Venlafaxine was almost exclusively converted to O-desmethylvenlafaxine under anaerobic conditions, but only a fraction of the drug was transformed to O-desmethylvenlafaxine under aerobic conditions. Degradation of venlafaxine involved only small stereoisomeric selectivity. In contrast, the degradation of O-desmethylvenlafaxine yielded remarkable S to R enrichment under aerobic conditions but none under anaerobic conditions. Determination of venlafaxine and its metabolites in the WWTPs agreed well with the stereoselectivity observed in the laboratory studies. Our results suggest that the levels of the drug and its metabolites and the stereoisomeric enrichment of the metabolite and its parent drug can be used for source tracking and for discrimination between domestic and nondomestic wastewater pollution. This was indeed demonstrated in the investigations carried out at the Jerusalem WWTP.
- Wastewater treatment
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Environmental Engineering
- Environmental Chemistry
- Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis