Rosangel Ortega-Villara, Liliana Lizárraga-Mendiola. Claudia Coronel-Olivaresa, Luis D.López-León, Carlos Alfredo Bigurra-Alzati, Gabriela A. Vázquez-Rodríguez. Effect of photocatalytic Fe2O3 nanoparticles on urban runoff pollutant removal by permeable concrete. Journal of Environmental Management, 242 (2019) 487-495. DOI: 10.1016/j.jenvman.2019.04.104
Permeable pavements are an efficient urban runoff (UR) management solution that also improve water quality. In this work, a photocatalytic layer of Fe2O3 nanoparticles (NP) was incorporated into permeable concrete to evaluate its impact on the removal of several microbiological (Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Aeromonas hydrophila, and Enterococcus faecalis) and physicochemical (N-NH4+, N-NO3-, phenol, PO43?, Fe, Mn, and Pb) pollutants. First, permeable concrete samples were created with sufficient compressive strength and hydraulic conductivity for light traffic. The test samples were then coated with a mixture containing either 3% or 5% Fe2O3 NP by cement weight. Control samples were prepared without NP. Scanning electron microscopy, energy dispersive spectroscopy, and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy analyses showed that the nanoparticles remained unaltered on the concrete's surface. Synthetic URs simulating the microbiological or physicochemical composition of real UR were applied to the samples to evaluate their pollutant removal efficiencies. The depollution performances of the test (with 3% and 5% Fe2O3 NP) and control samples were statistically compared. The test samples (3% NP, 5% NP, and the controls) significantly modified (p?0.05) most of the measured variables (i.e., the concentrations of E. coli, A. hydrophila, PO43?, Fe, Mn, and Pb) in the synthetic URs. Unexpectedly, the test samples (with 3% or 5% Fe2O3 NP) did not significantly remove (p?>?0.05) some pollutants prone to oxidation, such as phenol or ammonium. However, the 5% NP sample significantly enhanced Mn removal. In general, the decontamination performances of the concrete samples with Fe2O3 NP were not influenced by the nanoparticles; thus, they did not appear to add value to the generated permeable concrete. Nevertheless, our results indicate the considerable benefits of implementing permeable concrete to improve the quality of UR.