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Enhanced degradation of antibiotics by photo-fenton reactive membrane filtration

Sun, Shaobin, Yao, Hong, Fu, Wanyi, Xue, Shan, Zhang, Wen
Journal of hazardous materials 2020 v.386 pp. 121955
antibiotics, catalysts, ceramics, fouling, goethite, human health, hydrogen peroxide, iron oxyhydroxides, irradiation, microfiltration, mineralization, photocatalysis, pollutants, sulfadiazine, ultraviolet radiation, water quality
Micropollution such as pharmaceutical residuals potentially compromises water quality and jeopardizes human health. This study evaluated the photo-Fenton ceramic membrane filtration toward the removal of sulfadiazine (SDZ) as a common antibiotic chemical. The batch experiments verified that the photo-Fenton reactions with as Goethite (α-FeOOH) as the photo-Fenton catalyst achieved the degradation rates of 100% within 60 min with an initial SDZ concentration of 12 mg·L⁻¹. Meanwhile, a mineralization rate of over 80% was obtained. In continuous filtration, a negligible removal rate (e.g., 4%) of SDZ was obtained when only filtering the feed solution with uncoated or catalyst-coated membranes. However, under Ultraviolet (UV) irradiation, both the removal rates of SDZ were significantly increased to 70% (no H₂O₂) and 99% (with H₂O₂), respectively, confirming the active degradation by the photo-Fenton reactions. The highest apparent quantum yield (AQY) reached up to approximately 25% when the UV₂₅₄ intensity was 100 μW·cm⁻² and H₂O₂ was 10 mmol·L⁻¹. Moreover, the photo-Fenton reaction was shown to effectively mitigate fouling and prevent flux decline. This study demonstrated synchronization of photo-Fenton reactions and membrane filtration to enhance micropollutant degradation. The findings are also important for rationale design and operation of photo-Fenton or photocatalytic membrane filtration systems.