Environmental Chemistry Letters

, Volume 16, Issue 1, pp 281–286 | Cite as

Fast and complete removal of the 5-fluorouracil drug from water by electro-Fenton oxidation

  • Oleksandra Ganzenko
  • Nihal Oturan
  • Ignasi Sirés
  • David Huguenot
  • Eric D. van Hullebusch
  • Giovanni Esposito
  • Mehmet A. Oturan
Original Paper


Cytostatic drugs are a troublesome class of emerging pollutants in water owing to their potential effects on DNA. Here we studied the removal of 5-fluorouracil from water using the electro-Fenton process. Galvanostatic electrolyses were performed with an undivided laboratory-scale cell equipped with a boron-doped diamond anode and a carbon felt cathode. Results show that the fastest degradation and almost complete mineralization was obtained at a Fe2+ catalyst concentration of 0.2 mM. The absolute rate constant for oxidation of 5-fluorouracil by hydroxyl radicals was 1.52 × 109 M−1 s−1. Oxalic and acetic acids were initially formed as main short-chain aliphatic by-products, then were completely degraded. After 6 h the final solution mainly contained inorganic ions (NH4 +, NO3 and F) and less than 10% of residual organic carbon. Hence, electro-Fenton constitutes an interesting alternative to degrade biorefractory drugs.


5-Fluorouracil Antineoplastic BDD Cytostatic Electro-Fenton Water decontamination 



O. Ganzenko thanks financial support from European Commission (EPA No. 2010-0009) through the Erasmus Mundus Joint Doctorate Programme (ETeCoS3).


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratoire Géomatériaux et Environnement (EA 4508), UPEMUniversité Paris-EstMarne-la-ValléeFrance
  2. 2.Laboratori d’Electroquímica dels Materials i del Medi Ambient, Departament de Química Física, Facultat de QuímicaUniversitat de BarcelonaBarcelonaSpain
  3. 3.Department of Civil and Mechanical EngineeringUniversity of Cassino and Southern LazioCassinoItaly

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