IWA Publishing

IWA Publishing

Photodegradation of some brominated and phenolic micropollutants in raw hospital wastewater with CeO2 and TiO2 nanoparticles

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In this study, the degradations of 2,3,4,5,6-pentabromotoluene (PBT), 2,3,4,5,6-pentabromoethyl benzene (PBEB), triclosan (TCS) and gemfibrozil (GFZ) in raw hospital wastewater were investigated with cerium (IV) oxide and titanium (IV) oxide nanoparticles considering the mechanisms of adsorption, photolysis, and photocatalysis with UV-C lamps. The effects of nano-CeO2 and nano-TiO2 concentrations, irradiation times, UV light powers and hospital wastewater pH on the photodegradation yields of micropollutants namely PBT, PBEB, TCS and GFZ were investigated throughout photocatalysis. The nano-TiO2 produced had an anatase phase with crystalline shape with a surface area of 205 m2 g−1 and an average size of 11.50 nm. The CeO2 nanoparticles had a spherical shape with a higher surface area (302 m2 g−1) than that of TiO2 and a lower average size (8.11 nm). It was found that the removals of PBT, PBEB, TCS and GFZ with adsorption (5.7%–17.1%) and photolysis (9.0%–15.9%) were not significant for both nanoparticles. The photodegradation of PBT (92%), PBEB (90%), TCS (97%) and GFZ (95%) with nano-CeO2 gave better results than nano-TiO2 (90%, 87%, 94% and 93% for PBT, PBEB, TCS and GFZ, respectively) under optimum experimental conditions (0.50 g L−1 nano-CeO2, 45 min irradiation time, 25 °C temperature, pH = 8.50, 210 W UV light power). Both nanoparticles were reused effectively after photo-removals of the micropollutants from the hospital wastewater. The lowest photodegradation yields were 80%, 78%, 75% and 74% for TCS, GFZ, PBT and PBEB, respectively, with nano-TiO2 after six sequential treatments. The lowest photodegradation yields were 86%, 83%, 80% and 79% for the same micropollutants, respectively, with nano-CeO2 after six sequential treatments. The cost to treat 1 m3 raw hospital wastewater were 8.70 € and 2.28 €, for the photocatalytic treatments with nano-TiO2 and nano-CeO2, respectively.

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