Multivariate analysis of phenol mineralisation by combined hydrodynamic cavitation and heterogeneous advanced Fenton processing
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Phenolic compounds in wastewaters are difficult to treat using the conventional biological techniques such as activated sludge processes because of their bio-toxic and recalcitrant properties and the high volumes released from various chemical, pharmaceutical and other industries. In the current work, a modified heterogeneous Advanced Fenton Process (AFP) is presented as a novel methodology for the treatment of phenolic wastewater. The modified AFP, which is a combination of hydrodynamic cavitation generated using a liquid whistle reactor and the AFP is a promising technology for wastewaters containing high organic content. The presence of hydrodynamic cavitation in the treatment scheme intensifies the Fenton process by generation of additional free radicals. Also, the turbulence produced during the hydrodynamic cavitation process increases the mass transfer rates as well as providing better contact between the pseudo-catalyst surfaces and the reactants. A multivariate design of experiments has been used to ascertain the influence of hydrogen peroxide dosage and iron catalyst loadings on the oxidation performance of the modified AFP. Higher TOC removal rates were achieved with increased concentrations of hydrogen peroxide. In contrast, the effect of catalyst loadings was less important on the TOC removal rate under conditions used in this work although there is an optimum value of this parameter. The concentration of iron species in the reaction solution was measured at 105 min and its relationship with the catalyst loadings and hydrogen peroxide level is presented.