Degradation of seventeen contaminants of emerging concern in municipal wastewater effluents by sonochemical advanced oxidation processes.


Research Institute for Pesticides and Water (IUPA), University Jaume I (UJI), Castellón, Spain. Electronic address: [Email]


The simultaneous degradation of seventeen emerging concern pollutants in effluent from the municipal wastewater treatment plant (MWTP) of Bogotá-Colombia was studied using high frequency ultrasound (375 kHz). The considered compounds in the effluent corresponded to pharmaceuticals (diclofenac, carbamazepine, venlafaxine, ciprofloxacin, norfloxacin, valsartan, losartan, irbesartan, sulfamethoxazole, clarithromycin, azithromycin, erythromycin, metronidazole, trimethoprim and clindamycin); cocaine and its major metabolite benzoylecgonine. Due to limitation of the MWTP for the pollutants elimination, ultrasound was applied to remove these compounds. Interestingly, ultrasonic physical action led to releasing of ciprofloxacin, norfloxacin, diclofenac and sulfamethoxazole from suspended solids, whereas the chemical effects induced degradation of the rest of compounds. For the latter ones, an interesting correlation between the sonodegradation and arithmetic multiplication between hydrophobicity and concentration of pollutants was established. Afterwards, the sonochemical process was complemented with ferrous ions (sono-Fenton), ferrous ions plus light (sono-photo-Fenton) or ferrous ions plus light in presence of oxalic acid (sono-photo-Fenton/oxalic acid). Additionally, to clarify fundamental aspects of the different systems, individual treatments in distilled water of a model pollutant (valsartan) were performed. The complemented processes significantly enhanced all compounds degradation, following the order: sono-photo-Fenton/oxalic acid > sono-photo-Fenton ∼ sono-Fenton > sonochemistry. The Fe2+ addition improved the pollutants elimination by generation of more hydroxyl radicals in the solution bulk. Meanwhile, oxalic acid avoided Fe3+ precipitation favoring the iron catalytic cycle. Thus, the work demonstrates the high potentiality of the sono-photo-Fenton/oxalic acid system for the pollutants elimination in real-world wastewater matrices.


Advanced oxidation processes,Emerging pollutants,High frequency ultrasound,Sono-photo-Fenton,Sono-photo-Fenton/oxalic acid,Wastewater treatment,

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