Degradation of pharmaceuticals in different water matrices by a solar homo/heterogeneous photo-Fenton process over modified alginate spheres

  • Elisabeth Cuervo Lumbaque
  • Raquel Wielens Becker
  • Débora Salmoria Araújo
  • Alexsandro Dallegrave
  • Tiago Ost Fracari
  • Vladimir Lavayen
  • Carla Sirtori
Research Article


A solar homo/heterogeneous photo-Fenton process using five materials (Fe(II), Fe(III), mining waste, Fe(II)/mining waste, and Fe(III)/mining waste) supported on sodium alginate was used as a strategy to iron dosage for the degradation of eight pharmaceuticals in three different water matrices (distilled water, simulated wastewater, and hospital wastewater). Experiments were carried out in a photoreactor with a capacity of 1 L, using 3 g of iron-alginate spheres and an initial hydrogen peroxide concentration of 25 mg L−1, at pH 5.0. All the materials prepared were characterized by different techniques. The Fe(III)-alginate spheres presented the best pharmaceutical degradation after a treatment time of 116 min. Nineteen transformation products generated during the solar photo-Fenton process were identified by liquid chromatography coupled to quadrupole time-of-flight mass spectrometry, using a purpose-built database developed for detecting these transformation products. Finally, the transformation products identified were classified according to their toxicity and predicted biodegradability.


Pharmaceuticals Solar homo/heterogeneous photo-Fenton process Hospital wastewater Neutral pH Transformation products 



The authors wish to thank Mrs. Eng. Tainá Flores da Rosa for the RHW. Carla Sirtori thanks the CNPq for her research grant (Processo: 303474/2015-7). V.L. thanks Professor Adriana Casagrande for the Infrared spectrometer facilities provided.

Funding information

This study was financed in part by the Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior–Brasil (CAPES)–Finance Code 001 and received financial support from the CNPq (Processo: 403051/2016-9).

Supplementary material

11356_2018_4092_MOESM1_ESM.docx (3.8 mb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 3876 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elisabeth Cuervo Lumbaque
    • 1
  • Raquel Wielens Becker
    • 1
  • Débora Salmoria Araújo
    • 1
  • Alexsandro Dallegrave
    • 1
  • Tiago Ost Fracari
    • 1
  • Vladimir Lavayen
    • 1
  • Carla Sirtori
    • 1
  1. 1.Instituto de QuímicaUniversidade Federal do Rio Grande do SulPorto AlegreBrazil

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