As a metabolite of lipid regulators, clofibric acid (CA) was investigated in this study for its ultraviolet (UV) degradation at monochromatic wavelength of 185 nm using Milli-Q water and sewage treatment plant (STP) effluent. The effects of CA initial concentration, solution pH, humic acid (HA), nitrate and bicarbonate anions on CA degradation performances were evaluated. All CA degradation patterns well fitted the pseudo-first-order kinetic model. The results showed that ∙OH generated from water photolysis by UV185 irradiation was involved, resulting in indirect CA photolysis but contributed less to the whole CA removal when compared to the main direct photolysis process. Acid condition favored slightly to CA degradation and other constituents in solution, such as HA (5.0–100.0 mg L−1), nitrate and bicarbonate anions (1.0 × 10−3 mol L−1 and 0.1 mol L−1), had negative effects on CA degradation. When using real STP effluent CA degradation could reach 97.4% (without filtration) and 99.3% (with filtration) after 1 hr irradiation, showing its potential mean in pharmaceuticals removal in UV disinfection unit. Mineralization tests showed that rapid chloride ion release happened, resulting in no chlorinated intermediates accumulation, and those non-chlorinated intermediate products could further be nearly completely degraded to CO2 and H2O after 6 hrs.

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