In this study, a UV-assisted ozonation (UV/O3) process for the degradation of VOCs emissions with a final scrubbing phase was implemented to evaluate the removal efficiency of toluene and to prevent the release of polluting intermediates of the single-step process. Inlet toluene concentration and applied voltage were varied in order to investigate several operating conditions. The results highlighted that at higher inlet concentration the abatement of toluene was lower, while increase in ozone concentration led to an increase of the degradation efficiencies. The additional water scrubbing step enhanced the abatement of UV/O3 up to 98.5%, due to the solubilisation of ozone and by-products in the process water and, thus, the further oxidation of the contaminants within this phase. A maximum Elimination Capacity (ECmax) of 22.6 g m-3 h-1 was achieved with the UV/O3 + Scrubbing. The combined system boosted higher performance and stability compared to the stand-alone (UV/O3) process along with a more economical and environmental sustainability.
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