This study investigated the degradation pathway of metoprolol, a widely used β-blocker, in the ozonation via the identification of generated ozonation by-products (OPs). Structure elucidation of OPs was performed using HPLC coupled with quadrupole time-of-flight high-resolution mass spectrometry. Seven OPs were identified, and four of these have not been reported elsewhere. Identified OPs of metoprolol included aromatic ring breakdown by-products; aliphatic chain degraded by-products and aromatic ring mono-, di-, and tetrahydroxylated derivatives. Based on the detected OPs, metoprolol could be degraded through aromatic ring opening reaction via reaction with ozone (O3) and degradation of aliphatic chain and aromatic ring via reaction with hydroxyl radical (•OH).
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