Semiconductor oxides have been efficient in removing persistent pollutants from effluents when used as anodes in electrochemical systems. The combination of oxides has been a strategy to improve the photoactivity of the anodes and the degradation rates of organic compounds. Moreover, the combination of electrochemical procedure and technologies that promote the generation of oxidants capable of aiding in the treatment of these compounds have shown promising results. Therefore, the objective of this work is to study the degradation of antibiotics using oxides electrodes and mixtures of oxides of nickel, copper and zinc in a flow electrochemical system coupled with other oxidizing processes. The electrodes will be produced from the electrodeposition of the oxides in titanium substrate. The photoactivity of oxides electrodes alone and in combination will be assessed from the degradation of the antibiotics Levofloxacin (LFX) and Trimethoprim (TMP). The process parameters, such as applied potential, reactor flow, drug concentration and irradiation source will be studied. Then the influence of the combination of processes such as light irradiation and/or ultrasound in the degradation experiments will be studied. The use of flow reactors and the combination of oxidizing processes will be studied with the aim of increasing the degradation efficiency of the antibiotics and proposing a new effluent treatment method. Finally, the system will be applied to samples of current effluents containing the antibiotics to verify the possibility of use in large scale reactors. The degradation of pollutants will be monitored by measurements of total organic carbon (TOC) and chromatography (HPLC). The results will be compared to those obtained in Brazil. To date, photocatalytic degradations of antibiotics have been performed in bench cell and there is as yet no adequate reactor configuration to perform large scale degradations using coupling of oxidizing techniques. In this way, the experiments carried out in the research group of Professor Manuel Andrés Rodrigo Rodrigo, at the University of Castilla La Mancha, will be of primary importance both for the development of new technologies and for the consolidation of this line of research in Brazil.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: