Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 22, Issue 2, pp 762–773 | Cite as

Solar energy for wastewater treatment: review of international technologies and their applicability in Brazil

  • R. B. P. Marcelino
  • M. T. A. Queiroz
  • C. C. Amorim
  • M. M. D. Leão
  • F. F. Brites-Nóbrega
Advanced Oxidation Technologies: Advances and Challenges in IberoAmerican Countries


Several studies have reported the adverse effects of recalcitrant compounds and emerging contaminants present in industrial effluents, which are not degradable by ordinary biological treatment. Many of these compounds are likely to accumulate in living organisms through the lipid layer. At concentrations above the limits of biological tolerance, these compounds can be harmful to the ecosystem and may even reach humans through food chain biomagnification. In this regard, advanced oxidation processes (AOPs) represent an effective alternative for the removal of the pollutants. This study focused on the AOP involving the use of ultraviolet radiation in homogeneous and heterogeneous systems. Based on the literature review, comparisons between natural and artificial light were established, approaching photoreactors constructive and operational characteristics. We concluded that the high availability of solar power in Brazil would make the implementation of the AOP using natural solar radiation for the decontamination of effluents feasible, thereby contributing to clean production and biodiversity conservation. This will serve as an important tool for the enforcement of environmental responsibility among public and private institutions.


Recalcitrant compounds Emerging pollutants Decontamination Solar advanced oxidation processes Photocatalysis Photo-Fenton Solar power 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. B. P. Marcelino
    • 1
  • M. T. A. Queiroz
    • 1
  • C. C. Amorim
    • 1
  • M. M. D. Leão
    • 1
  • F. F. Brites-Nóbrega
    • 1
  1. 1.Programa de Pós-Graduação em Saneamento, Meio Ambiente e Recursos Hídricos da UFMGUniversidade Federal de Minas GeraisBelo HorizonteBrazil

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