Light-induced catalytic transformation of ofloxacin by solar Fenton in various water matrices at a pilot plant: Mineralization and characterization of major intermediate products
SourceScience of the Total Environment
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This work investigated the application of a solar driven advanced oxidation process (solar Fenton), for the degradation of the antibiotic ofloxacin (OFX) in various environmental matrices at a pilot-scale. All experiments were carried out in a compound parabolic collector pilot plant in the presence of doses of H2O2 (2.5mgL−1) and at an initial Fe2+ concentration of 2mgL−1. The water matrices used for the solar Fenton experiments were: demineralized water (DW), simulated natural freshwater (SW), simulated effluent from municipal wastewater treatment plant (SWW) and pre-treated real effluent from municipal wastewater treatment plant (RE) to which OFX had been spiked at 10mgL−1. Dissolved organic carbon removal was found to be dependent on the chemical composition of the water matrix. OFX mineralization was higher in DW (78.1%) than in SW (58.3%) at 12mgL−1 of H2O2 consumption, implying the complexation of iron or the scavenging of hydroxyl radicals by the inorganic ions present in SW. On the other hand, the presence of dissolved organic matter (DOM) in SWW and RE, led to lower mineralization per dose of H2O2 compared to DW and SW. The major transformation products (TPs) formed during the solar Fenton treatment of OFX, were elucidated using liquid chromatography–time of flight-mass spectrometry (LC–ToF-MS). The transformation of OFX proceeded through a defluorination reaction, accompanied by some degree of piperazine and quinolone substituent transformation while a hydroxylation mechanism occurred by attack of the hydroxyl radicals generated during the process leading to the formation of TPs in all the water matrices, seven of which were tentatively identified. The results obtained from the toxicity bioassays indicated that the toxicity originates from the DOM present in RE and its oxidation products formed during the photocatalytic treatment and not from the TPs resulted from the oxidation of OFX.•The pilot-scale solar Fenton degradation of ofloxacin was studied.•Mineralization was lower in the wastewater matrices due to the presence of organics.•Toxicity was found to originate from the oxidation of DOM present in the RE.•The transformation of OFX proceeded through the formation of seven intermediates.•The degradation pathway exhibited differences among the four matrices.