Exploring the Utility of Fenton Processes in Wastewater Treatment
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Fenton processes have been widely studied in environmental and biological systems. However, their underlying mechanisms are ambiguous. This research attempted to better understand these mechanisms. It was determined that the main product generated in Fenton processes catalyzed by iron magnetic nanoparticles (Fe MNP) and hemoglobin (Hb) was singlet oxygen (1O2). 1O2 can oxidize organic compounds in biological and environmental matrices, including Boat Harbour wastewater effluent. Boat Harbour is a former tidal estuary located near the Pictou Landing First Nation community in Nova Scotia, which treated pulp mill wastewater effluent from 1967-2020. Although the Fe MNP-catalyzed Fenton process was unsuccessful at degrading the organic dye methyl orange within the Boat Harbour effluent matrix, the Hb-catalyzed Fenton process was successful for this application. This process offers a potential green and cost-effective wastewater effluent treatment strategy. This novel discovery also has potential to be employed for a variety of other applications.