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Environ Sci Pollut Res Int. 2014 Jan;21(2):1208-16. doi: 10.1007/s11356-013-2003-4. Epub 2013 Jul 26.

Photocatalytic degradation of acetaminophen in modified TiO2 under visible irradiation.

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  • 1Department of Chemical Engineering, University of the Philippines Diliman, Quezon, 1101, Philippines.


This study investigated the photocatalytic degradation of acetaminophen (ACT) in synthetic titanium dioxide (TiO2) solution under a visible light (λ >440 nm). The TiO2 photocatalyst used in this study was synthesized via sol-gel method and doped with potassium aluminum sulfate (KAl(SO4)2) and sodium aluminate (NaAlO2). The influence of some parameters on the degradation of acetaminophen was examined, such as initial pH, photocatalyst dosage, and initial ACT concentration. The optimal operational conditions were also determined. Results showed that synthetic TiO2 catalysts presented mainly as anatase phase and no rutile phase was observed. The results of photocatalytic degradation showed that LED alone degraded negligible amount of ACT but with the presence of TiO2/KAl(SO4)2, 95% removal of 0.10-mM acetaminophen in 540-min irradiation time was achieved. The synthetic TiO2/KAl(SO4)2 presented better photocatalytic degradation of acetaminophen than commercially available Degussa P-25. The weak crystallinity of synthesized TiO2/NaAlO2 photocatalyst showed low photocatalytic degradation than TiO2/KAl(SO4)2. The optimal operational conditions were obtained in pH 6.9 with a dose of 1.0 g/L TiO2/KAl(SO4)2 at 30 °C. Kinetic study illustrated that photocatalytic degradation of acetaminophen fits well in the pseudo-first order model. Competitive reactions from intermediates affected the degradation rate of ACT, and were more obvious as the initial ACT concentration increased.

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