Water matrix effect on UV photodegradation of perfluorooctanoic acid

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The widespread detection of perfluorinated compounds (PFCs) in the water environment has been a concern for the last several years, while effluents from wastewater treatment facilities are the major sources of these compounds. Even advanced oxidation technologies (AOTs) are not useful for mineralization of the compounds due to their very high stability. Photochemical techniques using particularly vacuum UV (VUV) have been found to be very promising in this regard. But the use of VUV in UV-based AOTs has still not progressed much. Moreover, the impact of water quality on PFCs photomineralization is unknown. This investigation aimed to assess photomineralization potentials of perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) in ultrapure water (UPW), tap water (TW), surface water and treated wastewater effluent using a reactor setup enabling maximum utilization of VUV emission of low pressure lamp in laboratory batch experiments. Neya River water (NRW) and the Nakahama Wastewater Treatment Plant Effluent (NWWTPE) represented surface water and treated wastewater effluent respectively. Also, tests were carried out in 50% diluted NRW and NWWTPE. PFOA photomineralization in terms of PFOA removal, defluorination and total organic carbon (TOC) removal are discussed. The usefulness of the method for PFOA mineralization in organic-rich wastewaters, and further research needs are also highlighted.

Keywords: defluorination, organic carbon, PFOA removal, photolysis, vacuum UV, water quality

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