Degradation of ethylparaben under simulated sunlight using photo-Fenton
Ethylparaben (EPB) has been classified by different research groups as a potential endocrine-disrupting chemical, implying that it can potentially interfere with the normal balance of the endocrine system of living beings, which with its presence in different effluents, including drinking water, generates the need to seek methods that allow its removal from different water bodies. Advanced oxidation processes have been employed widely to remove organic compounds from different matrices. In this way, Fenton technology (process based on the reaction between ferrous ions and hydrogen peroxide) has been able to degrade different substrates, but due to the Fe2+ requirements to carry out the reaction optimally, combination of the conventional Fenton process with visible light radiation (photo-Fenton) is an alternative used in the treatment of pollution due to the presence of chemicals. In this way, the effectiveness of photo-Fenton on EPB degradation was assessed using a face-centered central composite experimental design that allowed assessment of the effects of Fe2+ and H2O2 initial concentrations on process. In general, results indicated that after 180 min of reaction almost all EPB was eliminated, the dissolved organic carbon in solution was reduced and the sample biodegradability index was increased.