Heterogeneous photocatalytic treatment of pharmaceutical micropollutants: Effects of wastewater effluent matrix and catalyst modifications
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- Heterogeneous photocatalytic treatment of pharmaceutical micropollutants: Effects of wastewater effluent matrix and catalyst modifications
- Choi, Jihyun; Lee, Hongshin; Choi, Yeoseon; Kim, Soonhyun; Lee, Seokheon; Lee, Seunghak; Choi, Wonyong; Lee, Jaesang
- Heterogeneous photocatalytic oxidation; Pharmaceutical micropollutants; Quenching activity; Secondary wastewater effluent; Surface modification; Visible light activity
- Issue Date
- ELSEVIER SCIENCE BV
- APPLIED CATALYSIS B-ENVIRONMENTAL, v.147, no., pp.8 - 16
- This study evaluates the applicability of TiO2-based photocatalysts for the treatment of pharmaceutical micropollutants in secondary wastewater effluent (SWE). Photolytic experiments using SWEs with different compositions demonstrated that the rates of photocatalytic degradation of acetaminophen and carbamazepine inversely correlated with the concentration of dissolved organic carbon (DOC), regardless of the type of applied light source and initial pharmaceutical concentration. The critical relevance of organic matter to the scavenging behavior of SWE was further verified by assessing the photocatalytic performance as a function of the concentrations of potential effluent-derived quenchers (i.e., NO3 -, Cl-, alkalinity, and humic acid). Kinetic comparison of the degradation of trace levels of pharmaceuticals (i.e., caffeine, cimetidine, propranolol, and sulfamethoxazole) using TiO2/UV-A, TiO2/UV-C, and H2O2/UV-C systems revealed that heterogeneous processes showed more significant performance reduction with increasing DOC concentration; this result indicates that organic matter plays dual roles in the scavenging activity of an effluent matrix: (1) OH radical (OH) quenching and (2) active-site coverage. TiO2 surface modifications (i.e., Pt and SiOx loading) accelerated the degradation of all the tested pharmaceuticals in SWEs to a certain degree. Particularly, the relevant altered surface affinity preferentially increased the susceptibility of specific pharmaceuticals to photocatalytic treatment. The presence of the effluent matrix substantially impaired the performance of visible-light-active photocatalysts in most cases. However, photocatalytic pharmaceutical degradation on Pt-doped TiO2, which occurs via direct charge transfer, was much less hindered in SWEs than that on Pt-deposited WO3, which occurs via OH-mediated oxidation.
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