Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 26, Issue 19, pp 19035–19046 | Cite as

Photocatalytic treatment of petroleum industry wastewater using recirculating annular reactor: comparison of experimental and modeling

  • Amina Rabahi
  • Aymen Amine AssadiEmail author
  • Noureddine Nasrallah
  • Abdelkrim Bouzaza
  • Rachida Maachi
  • Dominique Wolbert
Advanced Oxidation Process for Sustainable Water Management


In this study, the treatment of petroleum wastewater has been investigated by applying heterogeneous photocatalytic process using a recirculating annual reactor. An attempt has been made to study the effect of operating parameters such as TiO2 load, initial concentration of the pollutant, emitted photonic flux, and pH of the solution. The degradation efficiency of toluene and benzene, as target molecules, was studied. In fact, result showed that the toluene is better degraded alone than when it is in a mixture. The rate of elimination of toluene separately was 89.5%, while it was 76.19 and 79.55% in the binary (toluene/benzene) and the ternary mixtures (toluene/benzene/xylene), respectively. Moreover, the mineralization of the solution decreased more rapidly when toluene was pure with a rate of 83.13% compared to binary and ternary mixtures. A mathematical model is proposed taking into account the parameters influencing the process performances. The mass transfer step, the degradation, and the mineralization kinetics of the pollutants were defined as model parameters. To build the model, mass balances are written in bulk region and catalyst phase (solid phase). The degradation mechanism on solid phase is divided in two stages. Firstly, the removal of toluene gives an equivalent intermediate (EI). Secondly, EI is oxidized into carbon dioxide (CO2). This approach gives a good agreement between modeling and empirical data in terms of degradation and mineralization. It also allows for the simulation of toluene kinetics without knowing the plausible chemical pathway. A satisfactory fit with experimental data was obtained for the degradation and mineralization of toluene.


Photocatalysis Wastewater Pilot scale reactor Modeling Mass transfer Toluene 


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Copyright information

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

Authors and Affiliations

  • Amina Rabahi
    • 1
    • 2
  • Aymen Amine Assadi
    • 1
    Email author
  • Noureddine Nasrallah
    • 2
  • Abdelkrim Bouzaza
    • 1
  • Rachida Maachi
    • 2
  • Dominique Wolbert
    • 1
  1. 1.Ecole Nationale Supérieure de Chimie de Rennes, CNRS, ISCR—UMR6226Université RennesRennesFrance
  2. 2.Laboratory of Engineering Reaction Faculty of Engineering Mechanic and Engineering Processes USTHBAlgiersAlgeria

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