Carbamazepine Removal from Groundwater: Effectiveness of the TiO2/UV, Nanoparticulate Zero-Valent Iron, and Fenton (NZVI/H2O2) Processes



Pharmaceutical compounds, widely produced and used all around the world, are partly responsible for the widespread water pollution in the environment. Carbamazepine (CBZ) is an antiepileptic drug that persists in the environment for many years. In the present study, we used the TiO2/UV, nanoparticulate zero-valent iron (NZVI), and NZVI/H2O2 treatment processes to compare efficiency of CBZ removal from water. Influence of NZVI loading, H2O2 concentration, TiO2 loading, UV lamp power, and the matrix (distilled water and groundwater) on CBZ removal efficiency was evaluated using full factorial design. Results indicated that the NZVI/H2O2 process oxidized CBZ within 5 min. On the other hand, the NZVI process alone did not reduce CBZ concentration after 120 min of process time. The NZVI/H2O2 process was equally effective in CBZ removal from both distilled water and groundwater whereas the TiO2/UV process was less effective due to the presence of ions in groundwater. CBZ removal efficiency of the TiO2/UV process declined 30% when the matrix was changed from distilled water to groundwater. Negative divalent ions, i.e., equation image and equation image, were the main cause of reduction of CBZ removal efficiency from groundwater. It is likely that these two ions adsorb onto, and consequently prevent the superoxide anion equation image and hydroxyl radical OH from being generated on, the surface of the TiO2.