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This study is concerned with the removal of the anti-inflammatory dexamethasone from aqueous solution and hospital wastewater by electrocoagulation. The variation of the toxicity during the electrocoagulation was also studied through experiments that were designed and optimized by means of response surface methodology. The coagulation efficiency was evaluated by measuring the dexamethasone concentration by high performance liquid chromatography coupled to a diode array detector. In addition, variation was evaluated through a Vibrio fischeri test. The results showed an increase in the removal of dexamethasone (up to 38.1%) with a rise of the current applied and a decrease of the inter-electrode distance, in aqueous solutions. The application to hospital effluent showed similar results for the removal of dexamethasone. The main effect of the electrocoagulation was that it removed colloids and reduced the organic load of the hospital wastewater. Regarding the current applied, the calculated energy efficiency was 100%. Without pH adjustment of the aqueous solution or hospital wastewater, the residual aluminum concentration always remained lower than 10 mg L(-1), and, with adjustment (to pH 6.5), lower than 0.30 mg L(-1), at the final stage. No toxicity variation was observed during the electrocoagulation process in aqueous solution, either in the presence or absence of dexamethasone. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Daniel R Arsand, Klaus Kümmerer, Ayrton F Martins. Removal of dexamethasone from aqueous solution and hospital wastewater by electrocoagulation. The Science of the total environment. 2013 Jan 15;443:351-7

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PMID: 23202381

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