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Mineralization of wastewater from the pharmaceutical industry containing chloride ions by UV photolysis of H2O2/Fe(II) and ultrasonic irradiation.

Journal of environmental management (2014-04-29)
J M Monteagudo, A Durán, I San Martín
ABSTRACT

The mineralization of pharmaceutical wastewater containing chloride ions using a UV/H2O2/Fe(II) process was studied. The addition of Fe(II) to the UV/H2O2 system did not improve the degradation efficiency due to inhibition of the photo-Fenton reaction, at acid pH, in the presence of chloride ions in these wastewaters. The increase of pH from 2 to 7 increased the degree of mineralization under UV photolysis of H2O2 because more HO radicals are available by HOCl dissociation reaction. Under the selected operation conditions ([H2O2]o = 11,500 ppm, [Fe(II)] = 0 ppm, [TOC]o = 125 ppm and pH = 7), 100% of TOC removal was attained in 120 min. A significant synergistic effect of combining photolysis (UV/H2O2) and sonolysis was observed. Sonophotolysis (UV/H2O2/ultrasound) technique significantly increased the degree of mineralization (100% TOC removal in 90 min using 6500 ppm H2O2) when compared with each individual process. Sonochemical reaction was favored by the presence of chloride ions since the concentration of contaminants at the gas-liquid interface increased. Free radicals reaction was the controlling mechanism in the UV/H2O2/ultrasound system. HO radicals were the main oxidative intermediate species in the process, although hydroperoxyl radicals (HO2) also played a role. The contribution of thermal-pyrolytic reaction (in gas-phase) to sonophotolysis process was negligible.

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