Author(s): FernndezAlba AR, Hernando D, Agera A, Cceres J, Malato S
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Abstract The technical feasibility and performance of photocatalytic degradation of aqueous methomyl (50 mg/L) have been studied at pilot scale in two well-defined systems of special interest because natural-solar UV light can be used: heterogeneous photocatalysis with titanium dioxide and homogeneous photocatalysis by photo-Fenton. The pilot plant is made up of compound parabolic collectors specially designed for solar photocatalytic applications. Experimental conditions allowed pesticide disappearance, degree of mineralisation and toxicity achieved in the two photocatalytic systems to be compared. Total disappearance of methomyl is attained by photo-Fenton in 60 min and by TiO2 in 100 min. Hundred percent of nitrogen and sulphur are recovered as ammonium and sulphate. By contrast, complete mineralisation of total organic carbon (TOC) is not achieved even after quite a long time (more than 300 min). Three different bioassays (Vibrio fischeri, Daphnia magna and a Microalga) have been used for testing the progress of toxicity during treatment. All remained toxic down to very low-pesticide concentrations and in some bioassays were still toxic after total disappearance of the pesticide. Only if treatment is maintained throughout enough mineralisation (i.e. TOC disappearance), the toxicity is reduced to below the threshold (EC50\%).
This article was published in Water Res
and referenced in Journal of Fundamentals of Renewable Energy and Applications