Intensification of sonophotocatalytic degradation of p-nitrophenol at pilot scale capacity.Ultrason Sonochem. 2011 May; 18(3):739-44.US
Sonophotocatalysis involves the use of a combination of ultrasonic irradiation, ultraviolet radiation and a semiconductor photocatalyst, which enhances the rates of chemical reactions by the formation of enhanced amounts of free radicals. In the present work, the sonophotocatalytic degradation of p-nitrophenol has been investigated using low frequency ultrasound waves (25 kHz) with an acoustic power of 1 kW and UV tube of 11 W power rating at an operating volume of 7 L. The efficacy of combination of sonochemistry and photocatalysis has been initially compared with the individual operation of sonolysis and photocatalytic oxidation. The effect of operational conditions such as the initial p-nitrophenol concentration, pH and catalyst concentration on the extent of degradation has been investigated using sonophotocatalysis. The initial concentration of the pollutant was varied in the range 10 to 100 ppm whereas pH in the range of 2.5-11 and catalyst loading in the range of 0.5-4 g/l. Intensification studies have been carried out using hydrogen peroxide and Fenton chemistry. In all the systems investigated, maximum extent of degradation (94.6%) was observed for 10 ppm of p-nitrophenol initial concentration (w/v) using combination of sonophotocatalysis and optimum quantity of H(2)O(2). Use of Fenton chemistry also plays an effective role in enhancing the extent of degradation though the concentration of additive needs to be carefully adjusted in order to get maximum beneficial effects.