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Removal Of Emerging Pollutants From Water Using Environmentally Friendly Processes: Photocatalysts Preparation, Characterization, Intermediates Identification And Toxicity Assessment

Nina Finčur, Paula Sfîrloagă, Predrag Putnik, Vesna Despotović, Marina Lazarević, Maria Uzelac, Biljana Abramović, Paulina Vlazan, Cătălin Ianăși, Tünde Alapi, Máté Náfrádi, Ivana Maksimović, Marina Putnik-Delić, Daniela Šojić Merkulov

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Pharmaceuticals and pesticides are emerging contaminants problematic in the aquatic environment because of their adverse effects on aquatic life and humans. In order to remove them from water, photocatalysis is one of the most modern technologies to be used. First, newly synthesized photocatalysts were successfully prepared using a sol–gel method and characterized by different techniques (XRD, FTIR, UV/Vis, BET and SEM/EDX). The photocatalytic properties of TiO2, ZnO and MgO nanoparticles were examined according to their removal from water for two antibiotics (ciprofloxacin and ceftriaxone) and two herbicides (tembotrione and fluroxypyr) exposed to UV/simulated sunlight (SS). TiO2 proved to be the most efficient nanopowder under UV and SS. Addition of (NH4)2S2O8 led to the faster removal of both antibiotics and herbicide fluroxypyr. The main intermediates were separated and identified for the herbicides and antibiotic ciprofloxacin. Finally, the toxicity of each emerging pollutant mixture and formed intermediates was assessed on wheat germination and biomass production.