Investigation on Tenofovir Removal from Water by Electro-Fenton Process: Optimization of the Mineralization using Box-Behnken Design
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Original research

Abstract: The release of emerging pollutants, such as pharmaceutical compounds, into the environment degrades its quality seriously. Tenofovir (TEN) is a drug used to fight viral illnesses. It is nonbiodegradable and remains in the environment, and causes the pollution of surface water and groundwater. This work is then focused on optimizing the mineralization of TEN in an aqueous medium by the Electro-Fenton process. The influences of some experimental parameters were studied during the degradation and mineralization of TEN versus time. The concentration decay of TEN and the mineralization were followed by HPLC and COD measures, respectively. The biodegradability was also monitored by determining the biological oxygen demand (BOD5). The optimization of the COD removal was studied by the surface response methodology, following the Box Behnken Design (BBD). The results obtained showed a complete degradation (100%) of the TEN after 20 minutes. The kinetic study of the degradation of the TEN has shown that it obeys the pseudo-first-order law whose optimal apparent constant (0.254 min-1 ) was obtained at 300 mA. The biodegradability BOD5/COD ratio increased from 0.2 to 11 after 5 h of treatment, which permitted us to see the importance of coupling Biodegradation/Electro-Fenton for TEN removals. The total mineralization of TEN was obtained at satisfactory optimal conditions of 282 mA and 0.1 mM for the initial concentration of TEN after 164 minutes of electrolysis. This finding provides a significant contribution to emerging pollutants removal from aqueous media by the EF process.

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