Enhanced degradation of antibiotics by photo-fenton reactive membrane filtration

Shaobin Sun, Hong Yao, Wanyi Fu, Shan Xue, Wen Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

71 Scopus citations


Micropollution such as pharmaceutical residuals potentially compromises water quality and jeopardizes human health. This study evaluated the photo-Fenton ceramic membrane filtration toward the removal of sulfadiazine (SDZ) as a common antibiotic chemical. The batch experiments verified that the photo-Fenton reactions with as Goethite (α-FeOOH) as the photo-Fenton catalyst achieved the degradation rates of 100% within 60 min with an initial SDZ concentration of 12 mg·L−1. Meanwhile, a mineralization rate of over 80% was obtained. In continuous filtration, a negligible removal rate (e.g., 4%) of SDZ was obtained when only filtering the feed solution with uncoated or catalyst-coated membranes. However, under Ultraviolet (UV) irradiation, both the removal rates of SDZ were significantly increased to 70% (no H2O2) and 99% (with H2O2), respectively, confirming the active degradation by the photo-Fenton reactions. The highest apparent quantum yield (AQY) reached up to approximately 25% when the UV254 intensity was 100 μW·cm-2 and H2O2 was 10 mmol·L−1. Moreover, the photo-Fenton reaction was shown to effectively mitigate fouling and prevent flux decline. This study demonstrated synchronization of photo-Fenton reactions and membrane filtration to enhance micropollutant degradation. The findings are also important for rationale design and operation of photo-Fenton or photocatalytic membrane filtration systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number121955
JournalJournal of Hazardous Materials
StatePublished - Mar 15 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


  • Antibiotics
  • Ceramic membrane
  • Photo-Fenton
  • SDZ
  • α-FeOOH


Dive into the research topics of 'Enhanced degradation of antibiotics by photo-fenton reactive membrane filtration'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this