• International Journal of Technology (IJTech)
  • Vol 12, No 2 (2021)

Fenton’s Oxidation of Personal Care Product (PCP) Wastewater: A Kinetic Study and the Effects of System Parameters

Fenton’s Oxidation of Personal Care Product (PCP) Wastewater: A Kinetic Study and the Effects of System Parameters

Title: Fenton’s Oxidation of Personal Care Product (PCP) Wastewater: A Kinetic Study and the Effects of System Parameters
Lieke Riadi, Alan Darmasaputra Tanuwijaya, Ricky Richard Je, Ali Altway

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Cite this article as:
Riadi, L., Tanuwijaya, A.D., Je, R.R., Altway, A., 2021. Fenton’s Oxidation of Personal Care Product (PCP) Wastewater: A Kinetic Study and the Effects of System Parameters. International Journal of Technology. Volume 12(2), pp. 298-308

Lieke Riadi 1. Chemical Engineering Department, University of Surabaya,Jl. Raya Kalirungkut, Surabaya 60292, Indonesia 2. Center for Environmental and Renewable Energy Studies, University of Surabaya,Jl.Raya Ka
Alan Darmasaputra Tanuwijaya Chemical Engineering Department, University of Surabaya, Jl. Raya Kalirungkut, Surabaya 60292, Indonesia
Ricky Richard Je Chemical Engineering Department, University of Surabaya, Jl. Raya Kalirungkut, Surabaya 60292, Indonesia
Ali Altway Chemical Engineering Department, Sepuluh Nopember Institut of Technology, Jl. Raya ITS, Keputih, Sukolilo, Surabaya 60111, Indonesia
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Fenton’s Oxidation of Personal Care Product (PCP) Wastewater: A Kinetic Study and the Effects of System Parameters

Personal care products (PCPs) are considered an emerging class of pollutants, and PCP wastewater is classified as hazardous because it contains organic compounds, which are linked to high chemical oxygen demand (COD) concentrations. PCP wastewater is dangerous when discharged into rivers without treatment, which entails oxidizing complex organic compounds into simpler compounds using advanced oxidation technology (AOT). Fenton’s reagent is composed of Fe2+ and H2O2 and can oxidize organic compounds, thus reducing COD concentrations. This study aims to determine the effectiveness of the AOT method by calculating COD removal in wastewater; analyze the effect of the Fe2+/H2O2 ratio, H2O2 concentration, and system pH; develop a kinetics model of COD reduction; and analyze the cost of PCP wastewater treatment. The parameters used in the study are Fe2+/H2O2 ratio, H2O2 concentration, and pH. The results of this study show that the highest level of COD removal was 88.59% at a Fe2+/H2O2 ratio of 9% w/w, a H2O2 concentration of six times the COD concentration, and a pH value of 3. The reaction followed pseudo-first-order reaction kinetics, and the reaction rate constant was 0.021 min?1. At a flow rate of 15 m3/day, which is applicable in an industrial site, the required reactor volume in a continuous system is less than that for a batch system. The required reactor volume for a plug flow reactor and a batch reactor are 1.625 m3 and 2.25 m3, respectively. The estimated cost to treat 1 liter of wastewater is IDR 1,385.

COD; Fenton; Operation cost; PCP wastewater


Personal care products (PCPs) include antimicrobials, cosmetics, body disinfectants, and other products applied on human skin. An increase in PCP use will increase the discharge of PCP wastewater, as PCP waste usually comes from human excreta (sewage), wrongful disposal, leaching from landfill, drain water, and industrial waste (Archer et al., 2017). PCP waste is categorized as a micropollutant, and each PCP contains various organic compounds. The organic compound concentration in PCP wastewater is usually determined using the chemical oxygen demand (COD) concentration.

PCP waste has recently been detected in drinking water sources at concentrations of 1 ng/kg to 1 mg/kg of drinking water (Suanon et al., 2017). PCP waste is toxic and dangerous to humans, causing dysfunction in the endocrine and hormone systems (Archer et al., 2017). Our study investigates PCP wastewater from a pharmaceutical and cosmetic factory in East Java, Indonesia.

Due to its toxicity, PCP wastewater needs to be treated to reduce its COD content to a specific level (<150 ppm) at which it is safe for discharge and to comply with the regulations of the East Java regional Province (No. 72, year 2013).

The method of PCP wastewater treatment impacts the effectiveness of the COD degradation. Some experiments have been carried out to study conventional PCP wastewater treatment methods, i.e., disinfection and biodegradation. Previous studies have treated PCP wastewater using physical–chemical processes and then a biological process, which eventually involved a disinfection treatment using chlorine (Narumiya et al., 2013). Another study was conducted using Eichhornia crassipe and Pistia stratiotes, which are aquatic plants used as pollutant uptake plants and for biosorption in biological methods (Lin and Li., 2015). There also is an anaerob sludge study that used nanoscale zero valent iron (nZVI) synthetics and commercial iron powder (IP) at mesophilic conditions (37±1?) (Suanon et al., 2017). However, the COD degradation efficiency achieved in those studies is less than 50%, and the processes are time consuming. The application of advanced oxidation technology (AOT) methods in wastewater treatment involves the use of chemical substances as oxidizing agents to degrade organic compounds in wastewater, and it replaces conventional methods (Kanhaiya and Anurag, 2017). Some AOT methods have been implemented in several studies, e.g., treatment of tofu wastewater using combined ozonation and adsorption (Karamah et al., 2019), and a combined electrocoagulation and photocatalysis treatment applied to batik wastewater—which is difficult to employ on a large scale (Sharfan et al., 2018). There is also a degradation study on PCP compounds such as carbamazepine, clofibric acid, and triclosan (commonly found in freshwater sources) using an AOT method (Khraisheh et al., 2013), in which granular activated carbon (GAC), TiO2-coconut shell powder (TCNSP), and UV light were used to degrade PCP compounds. This method can reduce 99% of the compounds, but there is currently no study on the economic ramifications. Fenton’s reagent is one of the reagents that can be used in the AOT method, has recently been used because it is environmentally friendly. Fenton’s reagent is made with hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) as an oxidizing agent and ferro(II) ion (Fe2+) as a catalyst. Some studies have used Fenton’s reagent to reduce hospital waste, azo dye Orange G (OG) waste, and papercraft waste in wastewater. Fenton’s reagent can degrade 70–99% of the initial organic compounds, and the reaction is faster and more economical than any other chemical treatment (Munoz et al., 2016; Kanhaiya and Anurag, 2017; Park et al., 2017). We degraded PCP wastewater from a pharmaceutical factory in East Java using Fenton’s reagent in batch mode, which has not previously been studied. Fenton’s process is more readily implemented because it is much cheaper and easier to perform than other advanced oxidation processes (AOPs), e.g., O3/H2O2. Fenton’s process can be carried out at room temperature and atmospheric pressure. The required reagents are readily available, easy to store and handle safely, and environmentally friendly (Pignatello et al., 2006). Therefore, the primary aim of this study is the degradation of PCP wastewater using Fenton’s oxidation. The effects of various process parameters, such as the initial concentration of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), the Fe2+/H2O2 ratio, and the system pH, were studied to obtain the optimal parameters for the degradation process. A kinetics model was also developed based on the optimal system parameters obtained from the study, and a comparison of the reactor volumes used in batch and continuous systems is also discussed. Both plug flow and mixed flow reactors, which are cheaper than batch reactors, can be employed on the site. A plug flow reactor (PFR) requires a smaller reactor size than a mixed flow reactor (MFR) and batch reactor and has fewer side reactions because the residence time is uniform.


    Fenton’s process is effective for the treatment of PCP industrial wastewater. The experimental results show that Fenton’s treatment is feasible for the reduction of COD in PCP wastewater. The COD removal efficiency for PCP industrial wastewater is influenced by the Fe2+/H2O2 ratio, the H2O2 concentration, and the pH value. The optimal parameters used in this experiment are a H2O2 concentration of six times the COD concentration, an Fe2+/H2O2 ratio of 9% w/w, and an initial pH value of 3. The initial and final COD concentrations were 1,054 ppm and 120.28 ppm, respectively, for a 120-min reaction time, with 88.59% COD removal. The kinetic model follows pseudo-first-order reaction kinetics, as demonstrated by a high correlation coefficient (R2) with a reaction rate constant of 0.021 min?1. Based on that model, the COD removal efficiency is 93.04% after a 130-min reaction time, with an outlet COD concentration of 73.36 ppm, which is less than 100 ppm and meets the discharge standard requirements. Regarding reactor volume, the reactor size required for a PFR is 27.78% less than that required for a batch reactor for a 130 min reaction time. The operating cost to treat PCP wastewater in a batch system is IDR 1,385 per liter of wastewater. Future research may develop the optimal performance of a PFR by studying the flow rate parameter and conducting a kinetic study of the intermediate compound. The oxidation can be carried out by dosing the PCP wastewater with H2O2 and FeSO4.7H2O in a tubular reactor.


    The authors would like to acknowledge funding support from VP Industry via Grant 105/VP-01/2018.


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