Journal of Applied Electrochemistry

, Volume 35, Issue 7–8, pp 765–774 | Cite as

Removal of drugs in aqueous systems by photoassisted degradation

  • M. Addamo
  • V. Augugliaro
  • A. Di PaolaEmail author
  • E. García-López
  • V. Loddo
  • G. Marcì
  • L. Palmisano


Aqueous solutions of tetracycline, lincomycin and ranitidine were irradiated with UV light in homogeneous and heterogeneous systems. Two commercial polycrystalline TiO2 powders (Degussa P25 and Merck) were used as photocatalysts. After 5 h, an appreciable photolytic degradation of tetracycline and ranitidine was observed while the degradation of lincomycin was noticeably lower. As far as the mineralization is concerned, a small decrease of the TOC values was measured in the case of tetracycline whereas negligible variations were found for lincomycin or ranitidine. The presence of the photocatalysts greatly enhanced the degradation rates of the drugs with respect to those observed during the homogeneous experiments. The Langmuir–Hinshelwood kinetic model adequately describes the experimental results and both the pseudo-first order kinetic constants of the reactions and the adsorption constants were calculated. Merck TiO2 was more active than P25 Degussa for the photodegradation of tetracycline and ranitidine, whereas both photocatalysts showed similar performances for lincomycin. In the presence of TiO2 Degussa P25, tetracycline was almost completely mineralized, but the reduction of the initial TOC was ca. 60% in the case of lincomycin and ranitidine. A less significant mineralization was observed by using Merck TiO2.

Key words:

drug photodegradation heterogeneous photocatalysis photolysis titanium dioxide 


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Copyright information

© Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Addamo
    • 1
  • V. Augugliaro
    • 1
  • A. Di Paola
    • 1
    Email author
  • E. García-López
    • 1
  • V. Loddo
    • 1
  • G. Marcì
    • 1
  • L. Palmisano
    • 1
  1. 1.Dipartimento di Ingegneria Chimica dei Processi e dei MaterialiUniversità di Palermo, Viale delle ScienzePalermoItaly

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