Degradation of ibuprofen by photo-based advanced oxidation processes: exploring methods of activation and related reaction routes

S. Adityosulindro, C. Julcour, D. Riboul, L. Barthe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Several homogeneous photo-based advanced oxidation processes-namely photolysis, photo-oxidation, and photo-Fenton oxidation—were investigated for the elimination of ibuprofen in water. The effects of several operating parameters, such as the lamp type (low or medium pressure mercury, xenon-arc), the concentration of hydrogen peroxide (0.5 to 7 times the stoichiometric amount required for mineralization), and the concentration of Fenton reagent, were quantified. Photo-Fenton oxidation was also combined with low-frequency sonication to investigate possible synergistic interactions. Ibuprofen degradation under ultraviolet photolysis and ultraviolet/hydrogen peroxide oxidation followed pseudo-first-order kinetics with respect to the pollutant concentration and the apparent rate constant increased with lamp power (6–10 W) and oxidant concentration. Photo-Fenton oxidation under ultraviolet light (L1 lamp, 254 nm, 6 W) and visible light (L2 lamp, 360–740 nm, 150 W) led to complete ibuprofen removal after 3 h, but the mineralization yield of the L1/Fenton process (82%) was higher than that of the L2/Fenton process (59%) because of the effects of ultraviolet/hydrogen peroxide oxidation in the former. Coupling L2/Fenton with sonication improved the degradation rate of the molecule at low Fenton reagent concentration, but the beneficial effect of ultrasound on ferrous iron regeneration vanished when the iron to ibuprofen molar ratio was close to 1. An overall reaction scheme for ibuprofen degradation is proposed based on the transformation products detected during these processes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3247-3260
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Science and Technology
Issue number4
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2021


  • Degradation pathways
  • Emerging contaminants
  • Energy demand
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Photo-Fenton
  • Synergy index
  • Ultrasound activation


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