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Treatment of a mixture of food color additives (E122, E124 and E129) in different water matrices by UVA and solar photoelectro-Fenton.

Water research (2015-06-10)
Abdoulaye Thiam, Ignasi Sirés, Enric Brillas
ABSTRACT

The degradation of 130 mL of mixtures of food azo dyes E122, E124 and E129 has been studied by electro-Fenton (EF) and UVA photoelectro-Fenton (PEF) using a stirred tank reactor with either a boron-doped diamond (BDD) or Pt anode and an air-diffusion cathode. The main oxidant was hydroxyl radical formed at the anode from water oxidation and in the bulk from Fenton's reaction between added Fe(2+) and H2O2 generated at the cathode. In sulfate medium, fast decolorization was found for all systems, but the almost total mineralization was more rapidly achieved by PEF with BDD. The performance with a real water matrix was slightly worse, although the removal of total organic load was still as high as 95%. The solar PEF (i.e., SPEF) treatment of dye mixtures using a 2.5 L flow plant with a BDD/air-diffusion cell coupled to a planar solar photoreactor is also reported. Fast decolorization and almost total mineralization was found in the presence of either sulfate, perchlorate, nitrate or a mixture of sulfate + chloride ions. In chloride medium, however, the formation of recalcitrant chloroderivatives decelerated the degradation process. Greater current efficiency and lower specific energy consumption were attained in sulfate medium at lower current density and higher azo dye content. A plausible reaction sequence based on 18 aromatic intermediates identified by GC-MS and 6 short-linear carboxylic acids detected by ion-exclusion HPLC has been proposed. The SPEF process promoted the photodegradation of Fe(III)-oxalate complexes and other undetected products. Sulfate and nitrate ions were always released to the medium.

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