Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 26, Issue 5, pp 4367–4380 | Cite as

How does intensification influence the operational and environmental performance of photo-Fenton processes at acidic and circumneutral pH

  • Luis Miguel Salazar
  • Claudia Mildred Grisales
  • Dorian Prato GarciaEmail author
Advanced Oxidation Technologies: State-of-the-Art in Ibero-American Countries


This study evaluates the technical, economical, and environmental impact of sodium persulfate (Na2S2O8) as an enhancing agent in a photo-Fenton process within a solar-pond type reactor (SPR). Photo-Fenton (PF) and photo-Fenton intensified with the addition of persulfate (PFPS) processes decolorize 97% the azo dye direct blue 71 (DB71) and allow producing a highly biodegradable effluent. Intensification with persulfate allowed reducing treatment time in 33% (from 120 to 80 min) and the consumption of chemical auxiliaries needed for pH adjustment. Energy, reagents, and chemical auxiliaries are still and environmental hotspot for PF and PFPS; however, it is worth mentioning that their environmental footprint is lower than that observed for compound parabolic concentrator (CPC)-type reactors. A life-cycle assessment (LCA) confirms that H2O2, NaOH, and energy consumption are the variables with the highest impact from an environmental standpoint. The use of persulfate reduced the relative impact in 1.2 to 12% in 12 of the 18 environmental categories studied using the ReCiPe method. The PFPS process emits 1.23 kg CO2 (CO2-Eqv/m3 treated water). On the other hand, the PF process emits 1.28 kg CO2 (CO2-Eqv/m3 treated water). Process intensification, chemometric techniques, and the use of SPRs minimize the impact of some barriers (reagent and energy consumption, technical complexity of reactors, pressure drops, dirt on the reflecting surfaces, fragility of reactor materials), limiting the application of advanced oxidation systems at an industrial level, and decrease treatment cost as well as potential environmental impacts associated with energy and reagents consumption. Treatment costs for PF processes (US$0.78/m3) and PFPS processes (US$0.63/m3) were 20 times lower than those reported for photo-Fenton processes in CPC-type reactors.


Chemometric Economic analysis Intensification Persulfate Photo-Fenton Solar pond reactor Life cycle assessment 



This research was funded by the National Program of Projects to Strengthen Research, Creativity, and Innovation in Graduate Studies of the Universidad Nacional de Colombia, 2016–2018 (Project HERMES 35797).

Supplementary material

11356_2018_2388_MOESM1_ESM.docx (79 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 78 kb)


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© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Facultad de Ingeniería y AdministraciónUniversidad Nacional de Colombia−Sede PalmiraPalmiraColombia

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