Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 26, Issue 5, pp 4510–4520 | Cite as

CFD modeling of a UV-A LED baffled flat-plate photoreactor for environment applications: a mining wastewater case

  • John Steven Devia-Orjuela
  • Luis Andrés Betancourt-Buitrago
  • Fiderman Machuca-MartinezEmail author
Advanced Oxidation Technologies: State-of-the-Art in Ibero-American Countries


The use of ultraviolet light in photoreactors for wastewater treatment has become popular as an alternative of known chemical oxidative substances. UV LED light represents cheaper, robust, and versatile alternative to traditional UV lamps. In this study, it was designed and evaluated a photoreactor with an approach of chemical fluid dynamics (CFD) and experimental validation. The evaluation consisted of (1) CFD velocity profile analysis, (2) characterization of the average light distribution with potassium ferrioxalate actinometry, (3) degradation of a typical recalcitrant metallic cyanocomplex Fe(CN)63−, and (4) scavenger effect analysis in the photodegradation using potassium persulfate. Actinometrical essay concluded that the system was able to receive 1.93 μE/s. The reactor operated under turbulent regime and best result for Fe(CN)63− degradation was obtained at 4 h of operation, using 5-W UV-A LEDs, with pH ~ 7 and 10 mM de S2O82−. Baffled photoreactor demonstrated to be useful for this type of illumination and wastewater treatment.


Photoreactor UV LED Cyanocomplex CFD Actinometry Photodegradation 



Acknowledgements are given to the Project “Recuperación de oro y tratamiento de aguas residuales de minería aurífera CI 2832” funded by Colciencias and Universidad del Valle and the Young Researcher Program 2015 of Colciencias Francisco Jose Caldas.


  1. Adams MD (2013) Impact of recycling cyanide and its reaction products on upstream unit operations. Miner Eng 53:241–255. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Aguado J, Van Grieken R, López-Muñoz M et al (2002) Removal of cyanides in wastewater by supported TiO2-based photocatalysts. Catal Today 75:95–102. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Aillet T, Loubiere K, Dechy-Cabaret O, Prat L (2014) Accurate measurement of the photon flux received inside two continuous flow microphotoreactors by actinometry. Int J Chem React Eng 12:1–13. Google Scholar
  4. Arellano CAP, Martínez SS (2010) Effects of pH on the degradation of aqueous ferricyanide by photolysis and photocatalysis under solar radiation. Sol Energy Mater Sol Cells 94:327–332. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Barakat M (2004) Removal of toxic cyanide and cu(II) ions from water by illuminated TiO2 catalyst. Appl Catal B Environ 53:13–20. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bawornruttanaboonya K, Devahastin S, Mujumdar AS, Laosiripojana N (2017) A computational fluid dynamic evaluation of a new microreactor design for catalytic partial oxidation of methane. Int J Heat Mass Transf 115:174–185. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bennett J, Wiggins C (2003) A computational study of mixing microchannel flows. arXiv Prepr cond-mat/0307482 3–7Google Scholar
  8. Betancourt Buitrago LA, Ossa Echeverry O, Rodriguez Vallejo JC et al (2017) An approach to the utilization of artificial high power LED UV-A radiation in photoreactors for methylene blue degradation. Photochem Photobiol 16:79–85. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Bird R (2012) Fenómenos de transporte. Saudi Med J 33:3–8. Google Scholar
  10. Bozzi A, Guasaquillo I, Kiwi J (2004) Accelerated removal of cyanides from industrial effluents by supported TiO2 photo-catalysts. Appl Catal B Environ 51:203–211. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Brucato A, Rizzuti L (1997) Simplified modeling of radiant fields in heterogeneous photoreactors. 2. Limiting “two-flux” model for the case of reflectance greater than zero. Ind Eng Chem Res 36:4748–4755. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Brucato A, Cassano AE, Grisafi F, Montante G, Rizzuti L, Vella G (2006) Estimating radiant fields in flat heterogeneous photoreactors by the six-flux model. AICHE J 52:3882–3890. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Canterino M, Di Somma I, Marotta R, Andreozzi R (2008) Kinetic investigation of Cu(II) ions photoreduction in presence of titanium dioxide and formic acid. Water Res 42:4498–4506. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Cid LDC, Grande DCM, Acosta EO, Ginzberg B (2012) Removal of Cr(VI) and humic acid by heterogeneous photocatalysis in a laboratory reactor and a pilot reactor. Ind Eng Chem Res 51:9468–9474. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Dai K, Lu L, Liang C, Dai J, Zhu G, Liu Z, Liu Q, Zhang Y (2014) Graphene oxide modified ZnO nanorods hybrid with high reusable photocatalytic activity under UV-LED irradiation. Mater Chem Phys 143:1410–1416. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Davididou K, Monteagudo JM, Chatzisymeon E, et al (2017) Degradation and mineralization of antipyrine by UV-A LED photo-Fenton reaction intensified by ferrioxalate with addition of persulfate.
  17. de Andrade Lima LRP, Hodouin D (2005) Optimization of reactor volumes for gold cyanidation. Miner Eng 18:671–679. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Ferreira LC, Lucas MS, Fernandes JR, Tavares PB (2016) Photocatalytic oxidation of Reactive Black 5 with UV-A LEDs. J Environ Chem Eng 4:109–114. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Goldstein S, Rabani J (2008) The ferrioxalate and iodide-iodate actinometers in the UV region. J Photochem Photobiol A Chem 193:50–55. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Guo T, Ruan B, Liu Z, Jamal MA, Wen L, Chen J (2017) Numerical and experimental investigations of liquid mixing in two-stage micro-impinging stream reactors. Chin J Chem Eng 25:391–400. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Hossaini H, Moussavi G, Farrokhi M (2014) The investigation of the LED-activated FeFNS-TiO2 nanocatalyst for photocatalytic degradation and mineralization of organophosphate pesticides in water. Water Res 59:130–144. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Ismail I, Abdel-Monem N, Fateen SE, Abdelazeem W (2009) Treatment of a synthetic solution of galvanization effluent via the conversion of sodium cyanide into an insoluble safe complex. J Hazard Mater 166:978–983. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Izadifard M, Achari G, Langford C (2013) Application of photocatalysts and LED light sources in drinking water treatment. Catalysts 3:726–743. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Jamali A, Vanraes R, Hanselaer P, Van Gerven T (2013) A batch LED reactor for the photocatalytic degradation of phenol. Chem Eng Process Process Intensif 71:43–50. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Jenny RM, Simmons OD, Shatalov M, Ducoste JJ (2014) Modeling a continuous flow ultraviolet light emitting diode reactor using computational fluid dynamics. Chem Eng Sci 116:524–535. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Jo W, Tayade RJ (2014) New generation energy-efficient light source for photocatalysis: LEDs for environmental applications. Ind Eng Chem Res 53:2073–2084. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Johnson CA (2015) The fate of cyanide in leach wastes at gold mines: an environmental perspective. Appl Geochem 57:194–205. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Karunakaran C, Vasumathi D, Vinayagamoorthy P (2015) Enhanced photocatalytic Fe 3 + reduction with H 2 O 2 generation by TiO 2 anatase / rutile blend. Indian J Chem 54:1076–1084Google Scholar
  29. Kosmulski M (2011) The pH-dependent surface charging and points of zero charge. J Colloid Interface Sci 353:1–15. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Kuhn DD, Young TC (2005) Photolytic degradation of hexacyanoferrate (II) in aqueous media: the determination of the degradation kinetics. Chemosphere 60:1222–1230. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Kuhn HJ, Braslavsky SE, Schmidt R (2004) International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry—chemical Actinometry. IUPAC Tech Rep 1–47Google Scholar
  32. Kuyucak N, Akcil A (2013) Cyanide and removal options from effluents in gold mining and metallurgical processes. Miner Eng 50–51:13–29. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Lee T-Y, Kwon Y-S, Kim D-S (2004) Oxidative treatment of cyanide in wastewater using hydrogen peroxide and homogeneous catalyst. J Environ Sci Health A 39:787–801. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Levchuk I, Rueda-Márquez JJ, Suihkonen S, Manzano MA, Sillanpää M (2015) Application of UVA-LED based photocatalysis for plywood mill wastewater treatment. Sep Purif Technol 143:1–5. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Li Puma G (2003) Modeling of thin-film slurry photocatalytic reactors affected by radiation scattering. Environ Sci Technol 37:5783–5791. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Liu X, Pan L, Lv T, Sun Z (2014) CdS sensitized TiO2 film for photocatalytic reduction of Cr(VI) by microwave-assisted chemical bath deposition method. J Alloys Compd 583:390–395. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. López-Muñoz M-J, Van Grieken R, Aguado J, Marugán J (2005) Role of the support on the activity of silica-supported TiO2 photocatalysts: structure of the TiO2/SBA-15 photocatalysts. Catal Today 101:307–314. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. López-Muñoz MJ, Aguado J, van Grieken R, Marugán J (2009) Simultaneous photocatalytic reduction of silver and oxidation of cyanide from dicyanoargentate solutions. Appl Catal B Environ 86:53–62. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Malkhasian AYS, Izadifard M, Achari G, Langford CH (2014) Photocatalytic degradation of agricultural antibiotics using a UV-LED light source. J Environ Sci Health B 49:35–40. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Marugán J, van Grieken R, Pablos C, Satuf ML, Cassano AE, Alfano OM (2015) Kinetic modelling of Escherichia coli inactivation in a photocatalytic wall reactor. Catal Today 240:9–15. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. McCullagh C, Skillen N, Adams M, Robertson PKJ (2011) Photocatalytic reactors for environmental remediation: a review. J Chem Technol Biotechnol 86:1002–1017. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Mohajerani M, Mehrvar M, Ein-mozaffari F (2012) Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) modeling of photochemical reactors. Appl Comput Fluid Dyn 155–176Google Scholar
  43. Motegh M, Ruud van Ommen J, Appel PW, Mudde RF, Kreutzer MT (2013) Bubbles scatter light, yet that does not hurt the performance of bubbly slurry photocatalytic reactors. Chem Eng Sci 100:506–514. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Nakata K, Fujishima A (2012) TiO2 photocatalysis: design and applications. J Photochem Photobiol C: Photochem Rev 13:169–189. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Osathaphan K, Chucherdwatanasak B, Rachdawong P, Sharma VK (2008) Photocatalytic oxidation of cyanide in aqueous titanium dioxide suspensions: effect of ethylenediaminetetraacetate. Sol Energy 82:1031–1036. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Otálvaro-Marín HL, Mueses MA, Machuca-Martínez F (2014) Boundary layer of photon absorption applied to heterogeneous photocatalytic solar flat plate reactor design. Int J Photoenergy 2014:1–8. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Palmisano G, Loddo V, Augugliaro V (2013) Two-dimensional modeling of an externally irradiated slurry photoreactor. Int J Chem React Eng 11:675–685. Google Scholar
  48. Rasoulifard MH, Fazli M, Eskandarian MR (2015) Performance of the light-emitting-diodes in a continuous photoreactor for degradation of Direct Red 23 using UV-LED/S2O82—process. J Ind Eng Chem 24:121–126. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Satuf ML, Pierrestegui MJ, Rossini L, Brandi RJ, Alfano OM (2011) Kinetic modeling of azo dyes photocatalytic degradation in aqueous TiO 2 suspensions. Toxicity and biodegradability evaluation. Catal Today 161:121–126. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Shrestha TB, Seo GM, Basel MT, Kalita M, Wang H, Villanueva D, Pyle M, Balivada S, Rachakatla RS, Shinogle H, Thapa PS, Moore D, Troyer DL, Bossmann SH (2012) Stem cell-based photodynamic therapy. Photochem Photobiol Sci 11:1251–1258. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Song S, Hong F, He Z, Cai Q, Chen J (2012) AgIO3-modified AgI/TiO2 composites for photocatalytic degradation of p-chlorophenol under visible light irradiation. J Colloid Interface Sci 378:159–166CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Tokode O, Prabhu R, Lawton LA, Robertson PKJ (2014a) Mathematical modelling of quantum yield enhancements of methyl orange photooxidation in aqueous TiO2 suspensions under controlled periodic UV LED illumination. Appl Catal B Environ 156–157:398–403. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Tokode O, Prabhu R, Lawton LA, Robertson PKJ (2014b) The effect of pH on the photonic efficiency of the destruction of methyl orange under controlled periodic illumination with UV-LED sources. Chem Eng J 246:337–342. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Union I, Pure OF, Chemistry A (2005) International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry Chemical Actinometry. 1–47Google Scholar
  55. Vaiano V, Sacco O, Pisano D, Sannino D, Ciambelli P (2015a) From the design to the development of a continuous fixed bed photoreactor for photocatalytic degradation of organic pollutants in wastewater. Chem Eng Sci 137:152–160. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Vaiano V, Sacco O, Pisano D et al (2015b) From the design to the development of a continuous fi xed bed photoreactor for photocatalytic degradation of organic pollutants in wastewater. Chem Eng Sci 137:152–160CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Valari M, Antoniadis A, Mantzavinos D, Poulios I (2015) Photocatalytic reduction of Cr ( VI ) over titania suspensions. Catal Today 252:190–194. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. van Grieken R, Aguado J, López-Muñoz M-J, Marugán J (2005) Photocatalytic degradation of iron–cyanocomplexes by TiO2 based catalysts. Appl Catal B Environ 55:201–211. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. van Walsem J, Verbruggen SW, Modde B, Lenaerts S, Denys S (2016) CFD investigation of a multi-tube photocatalytic reactor in non-steady- state conditions. Chem Eng J 304:808–816. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Verbruggen SW, Lenaerts S, Denys S (2015) Analytic versus CFD approach for kinetic modeling of gas phase photocatalysis. Chem Eng J 262:1–8CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Vilhunen S, Sillanpää M (2010) Recent developments in photochemical and chemical AOPs in water treatment: a mini-review. Rev Environ Sci Biotechnol 9:323–330. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Vincent G, Schaer E, Marquaire PM, Zahraa O (2011) CFD modelling of an annular reactor, application to the photocatalytic degradation of acetone. Process Saf Environ Prot 89:35–40. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Yeh N, Yeh P, Shih N, Byadgi O, Chih Cheng T (2014) Applications of light-emitting diodes in researches conducted in aquatic environment. Renew Sust Energ Rev 32:611–618. CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

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

Authors and Affiliations

  • John Steven Devia-Orjuela
    • 1
  • Luis Andrés Betancourt-Buitrago
    • 1
  • Fiderman Machuca-Martinez
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Escuela de Ingenieria QuímicaUniversidad del ValleCaliColombia

Personalised recommendations