Solar heterogeneous and homogeneous photocatalysis as a pre-treatment option for biotreatment

Isabel Oller, Pilar Fernández-Ibáñez, Manuel I. Maldonado, Leonidas Pérez-Estrada, Wolfgang Gernjak, César Pulgarín, Paula C. Passarinho, Sixto Malato

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23 Citations (Scopus)


In this paper, we present pilot-scale solar Photo-Fenton and TiO 2 treatment of a model compound (α-methylphenylglycine) dissolved in 500 mg/1 concentration in water. Not only contaminant disappearance and mineralisation were evaluated, but also enhancement of biodegradability. The solar photoreactors, composed of 4.16 m2: of compound parabolic collectors, had a total volume of 82 1 (44.61 illuminated). Treatment was successful with both Advanced Oxidation Processes (AOPs) tested, but photo-Fenton was shown to be by far more efficient from the kinetic and practical point of view. To find out the conditions for biocompatibility using the AOPs as a pre-treatment, waste water after certain degradation time, unacclimated municipal sludge and mineral nutrients were placed together and evaluated by the Zahn-Wellens (Z-W) test. Biodegradability was enhanced (70% biodegradable) by both AOPs, but photo-Fenton was demonstrated to be more efficient, requiring a treatment time one order of magnitude shorter than TiO2. Hydrogen peroxide management for reduced consumption and elimination prior to discharging water to the biotreatment step is also discussed in detail.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)407-420
Number of pages14
JournalResearch on Chemical Intermediates
Issue number3-5
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 1 Jan 2007


  • Biodegradability
  • Photo-Fenton
  • Photocatalysis
  • Solar photoreactors
  • Solar treatment
  • Titanium dioxide
  • Water treatment


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