Degradation of carbamazepine by photo(Electro)catalysis on nanostructured TiO2 meshes: Transformation products and reaction pathways

Silvia Franz, Ermelinda Falletta, Hamed Arab, Sapia Murgolo, Massimiliano Bestetti, Giuseppe Mascolo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Carbamazepine (CBZ) is a pharmaceutical compound recalcitrant to conventional wastewater treatment plants and widely detected in wastewater bodies. In the present study, advanced oxidation processes for carbamazepine removal are investigated, with particular regard to the degradation pathways of carbamazepine by photoelectrocatalysis and conventional photocatalysis. Photoelectrocatalysis was carried out onto TiO2 meshes obtained by Plasma Electrolytic Oxidation, a well-known technique in the field of industrial surface treatments, in view of an easy scale-up of the process. By photoelectrocatalysis, 99% of carbamazepine was removed in 55 min while only 65% removal was achieved by photolysis. The investigation of the transformation products (TPs) was carried out by means of UPLC-QTOF/MS/MS. Several new TPs were identified and accordingly reaction pathways were proposed. Above 80 min the transformation products disappear, probably forming organic acids of low-molecular weight as final degradation products. The results demonstrated that photoelectrocatalysis onto TiO2 meshes obtained by plasma electrolytic oxidation is a useful alternative to common advanced oxidation processes as wastewater tertiary treatment aimed at removing compounds of emerging concern.

Original languageEnglish
Article number169
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2020


  • Compounds of emerging concern
  • Heterogeneous photocatalysis
  • Immobilized catalyst
  • Photoelectrocatalysis
  • Titanium dioxide
  • Transformation products

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry

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