Development of fluorescence surrogates to predict the ferrate(VI) oxidation of pharmaceuticals in wastewater effluents. Academic Article uri icon


  • The removal of pharmaceuticals from wastewater effluents is an emerging concern for environmental scientists and engineers. Ferrate(VI) (FeVIO42-, FeVI) is a promising oxidant and the removal of pharmaceuticals from wastewater effluents has been investigated in this study. Firstly, FeVI oxidation of selected pharmaceuticals was examined by determining the apparent second-order rate constants (kapp) in buffer solutions as a function of pH (5.0-9.5). At pH 8.0, kapp of cimetidine, famotidine, nalidixic acid, ronidazole, dimetridazole, tinidazole, and caffeine are (1.6 ± 0.2)×103, (7.8 ± 0.3)×102, 2.6 ± 0.4, 1.7 ± 0.1, 0.9 ± 0.3, 0.2 ± 0.1, and < 0.1 M-1 s-1, respectively. However, kapp could not be directly employed to predict the removal of pharmaceuticals in the effluents due to the inhibited or enhanced effects of effluent organic matters (EfOM). Therefore, an alternative approach of spectroscopic surrogates was investigated since fluorophore was co-degraded with pharmaceuticals in the wastewater effluents. Particularly, the humic-like fluorescent peak correlated well with the pharmaceutical attenuation. The relationship of the reduction of fluorescence and the removal of pharmaceuticals could be described through a universal equation: [Formula: see text] . The practical utility of the fluorescence surrogate was validated by applying to field samples. Monitoring the changes of the fluorescence surrogate provides a promising, rapid, and inexpensive method for estimating the degradation of pharmaceuticals during FeVI treatment of wastewater effluents.

published proceedings

  • Water Res

altmetric score

  • 0.25

author list (cited authors)

  • Nie, J., Yan, S., Lian, L., Sharma, V. K., & Song, W

citation count

  • 6

complete list of authors

  • Nie, Jianxin||Yan, Shuwen||Lian, Lushi||Sharma, Virender K||Song, Weihua

publication date

  • July 2020