UV-TiO2 Photocatalytic Degradation of Landfill Leachate
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Mature landfill leachate contains some macromolecular organic substances that are resistant to biodegradation. The photocatalytic process helps to enhance biodegradability of landfill leachate. Batch experiments were employed to determine the optimum conditions for removal of organic matter by UV-TiO2 photocatalysis. Under optimum conditions, the removal of chemical oxygen demand (COD), dissolved organic carbon (DOC), biological oxygen demand (BOD), and color was determined. Moreover, gas chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry (GC/MS) was used to analyze the organic matter in the treated leachate before and after treatment by the photocatalysis. The experimental results indicated that the removal of COD, DOC, and color by UV-TiO2 photocatalysis could reach above 60%, 70% and 97%, respectively. Under optimal conditions, the ratio of biological oxygen demand (BOD)/chemical oxygen demand (COD) was elevated from 0.09 to 0.39, representing substantial improvement in biodegradability. GC/MS analysis revealed that 37 out of 72 kinds of organic pollutants in the leachate remained after 72 h treatment. Esters were produced during photocatalytic process and ketones, hydrocarbons, aromatic hydrocarbons, hydroxybenzenes, and acids were easier to be degraded during photocatalytic oxidation processes. The UV-TiO2 photocatalysis systems proposed may be a cost-effective approach for pre-treatment of landfill leachate.