Removal of antibiotics in a parallel-plate thin-film-photocatalytic reactor: Process modeling and evolution of transformation by-products and toxicity

Can Burak Özkal , Zacharias Frontistis , Maria Antonopoulou , Ioannis Konstantinou , Dionissios Mantzavinos , Süreyya Meriç


Received November 05, 2016,Revised December 09, 2016, Accepted , Available online October 23, 2017

Volume 29,2017,Pages 114-122

Photocatalytic degradation of sulfamethoxazole (SMX) antibiotic has been studied under recycling batch and homogeneous flow conditions in a thin-film coated immobilized system namely parallel-plate (PPL) reactor. Experimentally designed, statistically evaluated with a factorial design (FD) approach with intent to provide a mathematical model takes into account the parameters influencing process performance. Initial antibiotic concentration, UV energy level, irradiated surface area, water matrix (ultrapure and secondary treated wastewater) and time, were defined as model parameters. A full of 25 experimental design was consisted of 32 random experiments. PPL reactor test experiments were carried out in order to set boundary levels for hydraulic, volumetric and defined defined process parameters. TTIP based thin-film with polyethylene glycol + TiO2 additives were fabricated according to pre-described method-ology. Antibiotic degradation was monitored by High Performance Liquid Chromatography analysis while the degradation products were specified by LC–TOF-MS analysis. Acute toxicity of untreated and treated SMX solutions was tested by standard Daphnia magna method. Based on the obtained mathematical model, the response of the immobilized PC system is described with a polynomial equation. The statistically significant positive effects are initial SMX concentration, process time and the combined effect of both, while combined effect of water matrix and irradiated surface area displays an adverse effect on the rate of antibiotic degradation by photocatalytic oxidation. Process efficiency and the validity of the acquired mathematical model was also verified for levofloxacin and cefaclor antibiotics. Immobilized PC degradation in PPL reactor configuration was found capable of providing reduced effluent toxicity by simultaneous degradation of SMX parent compound and TBPs.

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