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Keywords:

  • Mineralization;
  • Photooxidation;
  • Removal efficiency;
  • Wastewater treatment plant effluent

Abstract

The presence of acid pharmaceuticals in water environments poses a potential threat to ecosystems and human health. Recent research has shown that photo oxidation processes are much more effective for removing these pharmaceuticals. However, the existence of humic acid (HA) could inhibit the clearance efficiency of this process. In this study, we investigated the photochemical degradation of six selected acid pharmaceuticals in surface water and effluent from wastewater treatment plants using the UV/H2O2 process. The results showed that HA can act as a photo sensitizer or a .OH sink, and its concentration had a significant inhibitory effect on the degradation of acid pharmaceuticals. Most of these pharmaceuticals were inhibited during this process when HA was added to deionized water solutions. In addition, the effects of chloride, bicarbonate, and nitrate on the degradation of these pharmaceuticals were different. The removal efficiency of these acid pharmaceuticals is lower in natural samples than in deionized samples because of the complex constituents in the latter.