Infoscience

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Light-Assisted Advanced Oxidation Processes for the Elimination of Chemical and Microbiological Pollution of Wastewaters in Developed and Developing Countries

In this work, the issue of hospital and urban wastewater treatment is studied in two different contexts, in Switzerland and in developing countries (Ivory Coast and Colombia). For this purpose, the treatment of municipal wastewater effluents is studied, simulating the developed countries' context, while cheap and sustainable solutions are proposed for the developing countries, to form a barrier between effluents and receiving water bodies. In order to propose proper methods for each case, the characteristics of the matrices and the targets are described here in detail. In both contexts, the use of Advanced Oxidation Processes (AOPs) is implemented, focusing on UV-based and solar-supported ones, in the respective target areas. A list of emerging contaminants and bacteria are firstly studied to provide operational and engineering details on their removal by AOPs. Fundamental mechanistic insights are also provided on the degradation of the effluent wastewater organic matter. The use of viruses and yeasts as potential model pathogens is also accounted for, treated by the photo-Fenton process. In addition, two pharmaceutically active compound (PhAC) models of hospital and/or industrial origin are studied in wastewater and urine, treated by all accounted AOPs, as a proposed method to effectively control concentrated point-source pollution from hospital wastewaters. Their elimination was modeled and the degradation pathway was elucidated by the use of state-of-the-art analytical techniques. In conclusion, the use of light-supported AOPs was proven to be effective in degrading the respective target and further insights were provided by each application, which could facilitate their divulgation and potential application in the field.

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