Photooxidation of the antidepressant drug Fluoxetine (Prozac®) in aqueous media by hybrid catalytic/ozonation processes

Fabiola Méndez-Arriaga, Tomohiko Otsu, Toshiyuki Oyama, Jaime Gimenez, Santiago Esplugas, Hisao Hidaka, Nick Serpone
Water Research 2011, 45 (9): 2782-94
This article examines the oxidative disposal of Prozac(®) (also known as Fluoxetine, FXT) through several oxidative processes with and without UV irradiation: for example, TiO(2) alone, O(3) alone, and the hybrid methods comprised of O(3) + H(2)O(2) (PEROXONE process), TiO(2) + O(3) and TiO(2) + O(3) + H(2)O(2) at the laboratory scale. Results show a strong pH dependence of the adsorption of FXT on TiO(2) and the crucial role of adsorption in the whole degradation process. Photolysis of FXT is remarkable only under alkaline pH. The heterogeneous photoassisted process removes 0.11 mM FXT (initial concentration) within ca. 60 min with a concomitant 50% mineralization at pH 11 (TiO(2) loading, 0.050 g L(-1)). The presence of H(2)O(2) enhances the mineralization further to >70%. UV/ozonation leads to the elimination of FXT to a greater extent than does UV/TiO(2): i.e., 100% elimination of FXT is achieved by UV/O(3) in the first 10 min of reaction and almost 97% mineralization is attained under UV irradiation in the presence of H(2)O(2). The hybrid configuration UV + TiO(2) + O(3) + H(2)O(2) enhances removal of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) in ca. 30 min leaving, however, an important inorganic carbon (IC) content. In all cases, the presence of H(2)O(2) improves the elimination of DOC, but not without a detrimental effect on the biodegradability of FXT owing to the low organic carbon content in the final treated effluent, together with significant levels of inorganic byproducts remaining. The photoassisted TiO(2)/O(3) hybrid method may prove to be an efficient combination to enhance wastewater treatment of recalcitrant drug pollutants in aquatic environments.

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