Humic-like substances from urban waste as auxiliaries for photo-Fenton treatment: a fluorescence EEM-PARAFAC study
In this work, analysis of excitation-emission-matrices (EEM) has been employed to gain further insight into the characterization of humic like substances (HLS) obtained from urban wastes (soluble bio-organic substances, SBOs). In particular, complexation of these substances with iron and changes along a photo-Fenton process have been studied. Recorded EEMs were decomposed by using parallel factor analysis (PARAFAC). Three fluorescent components were identified by PARAFAC modeling of the entire set of SBO solutions studied. The EEM peak locations (λex/λem) of these components were 310–330 nm/400–420 nm (C1), 340–360 nm/450–500 nm (C2), and 285 nm/335–380 nm (C3). Slight variations of the maximum position of each component with the solution pH were observed. The interaction of SBO with Fe(III) was characterized by determining the stability constants of the components with Fe(III) at different pH values, which were in the order of magnitude of the ones reported for humic substances and reached their highest values at pH = 5. Photochemical experiments employing SBO and Fe(III), with and without H2O2, showed pH-dependent trends for the evolution of the modeled components, which exhibited a strong correlation with the efficiency reported for the photo-Fenton processes in the presence of SBO at different pH values.