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TiO2 photocatalytic degradation of caffeine and ecotoxicological assessment of oxidation by-products

  • Authors
    Carotenuto M.
    Siciliano A.
    Aliberti F.
    Guida M.
    Lofrano G.Corresponding
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  • gnest_01346_published.pdf
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The photocatalytic degradation of caffeine has been investigated in aqueous suspensions of titanium dioxide (TiO2) by monitoring process efficiency at varying TiO2 (25 - 175 mg l-1) and initial drug concentrations (0.5 - 9.5 mg l-1). The use of the response surface methodology (RSM) allowed to fit the optimal regions of the parameters leading to the degradation of the pollutant. Also, a single polynomial expression modelling the reaction was obtained. In parallel a set of bioassays (Daphnia magna, Pseudokirchneriella subcapitata and Lactuca sativa) was performed to evaluate the process in terms of detoxification of caffeine oxidation by-products under chronic and acute tests. Results clearly demonstrate that caffeine is quickly degraded, but not mineralized as quickly, and that persistent toxic organic intermediates resist further oxidation.


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