Journal article

Iron oxide-mediated semiconductor photocatalysis vs. heterogeneous photo-Fenton treatment of viruses in wastewater. Impact of the oxide particle size

The photo-Fenton process is recognized as a promising technique towards microorganism disinfection in wastewater, but its efficiency is hampered at near-neutral pH operating values. In this work, we overcome these obstacles by using the heterogeneous photo-Fenton process as the default disinfecting technique, targeting MS2 coliphage in wastewater. The use of low concentrations of iron oxides in wastewater without H2O2 (widstite, maghemite, magnetite) has demonstrated limited semiconductor-mediated MS2 inactivation. Changing the operational pH and the size of the oxide particles indicated that the isoelectric point of the iron oxides and the active surface area are crucial in the success of the process, and the possible underlying mechanisms are investigated. Furthermore, the addition of low amounts of Fe-oxides (1 mg L-1) and H2O2 in the system (1.5 and 10 mg L-1) greatly enhanced the inactivation process, leading to heterogeneous photo-Fenton processes on the surface of the magnetically separable oxides used. Additionally, photo-dissolution of iron in the bulk, lead to homogeneous photo-Fenton, further aided by the complexation by the dissolved organic matter in the solution. Finally, we assess the impact of the presence of the bacterial host and the difference caused by the different iron sources (salts, oxides) and the Fe-oxide size (normal, nano-sized). (C) 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


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