Solar photo-Fenton process on the abatement of antibiotics at a pilot scale: Degradation kinetics, ecotoxicity and phytotoxicity assessment and removal of antibiotic resistant enterococci

I Michael, E Hapeshi, C Michael, A R Varela, S Kyriakou, C M Manaia, D Fatta-Kassinos
Water Research 2012 November 1, 46 (17): 5621-5634
This work investigated the application of a solar driven advanced oxidation process (solar photo-Fenton), for the degradation of antibiotics at low concentration level (μg L(-1)) in secondary treated domestic effluents at a pilot-scale. The examined antibiotics were ofloxacin (OFX) and trimethoprim (TMP). A compound parabolic collector (CPC) pilot plant was used for the photocatalytic experiments. The process was mainly evaluated by a fast and reliable analytical method based on a UPLC-MS/MS system. Solar photo-Fenton process using low iron and hydrogen peroxide doses ([Fe(2+)](0) = 5 mg L(-1); [H(2)O(2)](0) = 75 mg L(-1)) was proved to be an efficient method for the elimination of these compounds with relatively high degradation rates. The photocatalytic degradation of OFX and TMP with the solar photo-Fenton process followed apparent first-order kinetics. A modification of the first-order kinetic expression was proposed and has been successfully used to explain the degradation kinetics of the compounds during the solar photo-Fenton treatment. The results demonstrated the capacity of the applied advanced process to reduce the initial wastewater toxicity against the examined plant species (Sorghum saccharatum, Lepidium sativum, Sinapis alba) and the water flea Daphnia magna. The phytotoxicity of the treated samples, expressed as root growth inhibition, was higher compared to that observed on the inhibition of seed germination. Enterococci, including those resistant to OFX and TMP, were completely eliminated at the end of the treatment. The total cost of the full scale unit for the treatment of 150 m(3) day(-1) of secondary wastewater effluent was found to be 0.85 € m(-3).

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