This paper presents experimental results on the effect of temperature on the rate of Imidacloprid removal from waste water using homogeneous photo-Fenton processes. Experiments were conducted in a 2 L photo reactor set at 15–42°C, initial concentrations in the range of 10 to 40 mg L−1 Fe(II) and 100–450 mg L−1 H2O2; 30 150 min processing times. Initial H2O2 concentration determined the extent of the oxidation process, whereas iron concentration played a key role in the process kinetics. Homogeneous photo-Fenton showed a fast initial reaction leading to 50% Imidacloprid degradation after less than 1 min of treatment, followed by a slower process until full removal was achieved. Rapid Fe(II) oxidation to Fe(III) seems responsible for the initial Imidacloprid removal. Imidacloprid removal fitted well a pseudo-first order kinetic scheme, with apparent activation energy of approximately 31.6 kJ/mole. Untreated Imidacloprid samples showed significant acute toxicity to Daphnia magna and genotoxic effects on Bacillus subtilis. Acute toxicity and genotoxicity remained detectable even after complete pesticide removal, showing that toxic by-products were present. The design and operation of photo Fenton processes should focus on toxicity removal rather than on specific target pollutants.

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