Advanced Oxidation of Acetaminophen for Waste Water Treatment: Testing a New Approach for Degradation by Photocatalytic Methods Via Tio2 Films


  • Sunil Rawal
  • Sabrina Hurlock-Buer


Traditional Wastewater Treatment Plants (WWTP) have not been designed to handle pharmaceutical-based contaminants efficiently, therefore, cannot completely eliminate drug residues. As a result, its metabolites can be found in groundwater, surface water and even in drinking water. Therefore, the purpose of this research is to develop and test a new approach for the degradation of acetaminophen in water. This method is based on the use of Titanium dioxide (TiO2) thin films to replace the current costly use of nanoparticles in batch-designed systems, which require the elimination of particles by filtration as a tertiary method of treatment in WWTP.
This contribution describes the preparation and characterization of TiO2 thin films, and the degradation rate by using the prepared thin films. Multiple layers of the TiO2 thin film (6, 8 and 10) were prepared and deposited onto a microscopic glass slide via the sol-gel method. The deposited TiO2 thin film on the glass substrate was characterized using X-ray diffraction, and scanning electron microscopy. Four and six TiO2-deposited thin-film glass slides were used to determine the photocatalytic degradation rate of acetaminophen with different pH ranges. The degradation rate of acetaminophen was observed by UV-Vis Spectrophotometer at a wavelength of 243 nm. The favorable degradation efficiency, ~ 44% was achieved by using six glass slides with ten coating layers of the photocatalyst in a neutral medium. Over a period of 90- minutes, the increase in number of thin-film slides showed a substantial increase in the degradation rate due to the increase in surface area.