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Water Res. 2008 Jul;42(13):3480-8. doi: 10.1016/j.watres.2008.04.023. Epub 2008 May 7.

Degradation of paracetamol in aqueous solutions by TiO2 photocatalysis.

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Division of Environmental Science and Engineering, National University of Singapore, Singapore 119260, Singapore.


In this study, photo/photocatalytic oxidation of common analgesic and antipyretic drug, paracetamol (acetaminophen), was investigated to determine the optimal operating conditions for degradation in water. UVA (365 nm) radiation alone degraded negligible amount of paracetamol, whereas paracetamol concentration decreased substantially under an irradiation of UVC (254 nm) with marginal changes in total organic carbon (TOC). In the presence of TiO2, much faster photodegradation of paracetamol and effective mineralization occurred; more than 95% of 2.0mM paracetamol was degraded within 80 min. The degradation rate constant decreased with an increase in the initial concentration of paracetamol, while it increased with light intensity and oxygen concentration. The degradation rate also increased with TiO2 loading until a concentration of 0.8 g L(-1). The degradation rate slowly increased between pH 3.5 and 9.5, but significantly decreased with increasing pH between 9.5 and 11.0. Based on the experimental data, a kinetic equation describing paracetamol photocatalytic degradation with various process parameters is obtained.

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