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Experimental and theoretical insight into carbamazepine degradation by chlorine‐based advanced oxidation processes: Efficiency, energy consumption, mechanism and DBPs formation


Mohamed Gamal El-Din , Chunwei Liu , Zuo Tong How , Yue Ju , Li Feng , Xuefeng Ren

DOI:10.1016/j.jes.2023.05.012

Received February 20, 2023,Revised , Accepted May 10, 2023, Available online May 22, 2023

Volume 36,2024,Pages 72-83

Chlorine has been widely used in different advanced oxidation processes (AOPs) for micropollutants removal. In this study, different chlorine-based AOPs, namely medium pressure (MP) UV/chlorine, low pressure (LP) UV/chlorine, and in-situ chlorination, were compared for carbamazepine (CBZ) removal efficiency, energy consumption, and disinfection by-products (DBPs) formation. All three processes could achieve nearly 100% CBZ removal, while the reaction time needed by in-situ chlorination was double the time required by UV/chlorine processes. The energy consumed per magnitude of CBZ removed (EE/O) of MP UV/chlorine was 13 times higher than that of LP UV/chlorine, and relative to that of in-situ chlorination process. Accordingly, MP and LP UV/chlorine processes generated one to two orders of magnitude more hydroxyl radicals (OH) and reactive chlorine species (RCS) than in-situ chlorination. Besides, RCS were the dominant reactive species, contributing to 78.3%, 75.6%, and 71.6% of CBZ removal in MP, LP UV/chlorine, and in-situ chlorination, respectively. According to the Gibbs free energy barriers between CBZ and RCS/OH calculated based on density functional theory (DFT), RCS had more reaction routes with CBZ and showed lower energy barrier in the main CBZ degradation pathways like epoxidation and formation of iminostilbene. When applied to secondary wastewater effluent, UV/chlorine and in-situ chlorination produced overall DBPs ranging from 104.77 to 135.41 µg/L. However, the production of chlorate during UV/chlorine processes was 15 times higher than that during in-situ chlorination.

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