Photocatalytic Degradation of Some Phenolic Compounds Present in Olive Mill Wastewater

Waleed H. Rimawi1,*, Hatim Salim1, Doaa Seder1, Rasha Ghunaim2,3 and Silke Hampel2

1Department of Applied Chemistry, Palestine Polytechnic university, Hebron P.O. Box 198, Palestinian Territories

2Leibniz Institute for Solid State and Material Research Dresden, Helmholtzstrasse. 20, 01069 Dresden, Germany

3Institute for Physical Chemistry, Technische Universitat Dresden, 01062 Dresden, Germany

*Corresponding author: Fax: +972 22233050; Tel: +972 599385347; E-mail:


The olive oil industry in Palestine is an important and widely spread one and accomplished with the release of large amounts of olive-mills wastewater. This wastewater represents a significant environmental problem due to its high phenolic content. In this work, the photocatalytic degradation of the some phenolic compounds (gallic acid, oleuropein and resorcinol) present in olive-mills wastewater using the synthesized nanoparticles of mixed SnO2-MgO catalyst and solar irradiation was performed. The nanoparticles of mixed SnO2-MgO catalyst with different ratios were prepared by sol gel method using a modified procedure. The obtained particles were characterized by SEM and XRD. The particle size was determined as 4.32 ± 0.42 nm which is much smaller than those previously prepared by standard procedures. The degradation percentage of phenolic compounds was measured by UV spectrophotometry. The effect of time, catalyst amount and phenolic compound concentration on degradation efficiency was studied. The maximum degradation was achieved using SnO2-MgO (4:1) catalyst, 2.5 mg catalyst per 5 mL solution, within the time of 60-120 min and ranged from 51 to 90 % for different concentrations of phenolic compounds.


Photocatalytic degradation, Olive mill wastewater, Gallic acid, Resorcinol, Oleuropein.

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