Feasibility study of ultraviolet activated persulfate oxidation of phenol.Chemosphere. 2011 Feb; 82(8):1168-72.C
Using ultraviolet photolytic persulfate activation to produce two sulfate radicals (SO(4)(-)) exhibits a potential for destroying organic contaminants in wastewater treatment applications. This study investigated both the feasibility of using a UV/SPS (sodium persulfate) process to treat phenol in aqueous phase and the effect of pH on degradation efficiency and TOC removal. The results revealed that a high initial persulfate concentration (i.e., 84 mM) and a lower initial phenol concentration (i.e., 0.5mM) resulted in rapid and complete phenol degradation within 20 min. For all three pHs evaluated (i.e., 3, 7 and 11), complete phenol degradation was also achieved after 30 min of treatment by UV/SPS oxidation processes (i.e., under an SPS/phenol molar ratio of 84/0.5) with pseudo-first-order rate constants (k(obs, phenol)) of 0.14-0.16 min(-1) (average half-life (t(1/2)) = 4.5 min). UV-Vis spectrum scanning of the aqueous solution during treatment identified the development of brown color in the wavelength range of 400-460 nm. The colored intermediate compounds that formed were suspiciously similar to those observed during Fenton treatment. However, a more aggressive oxidation at pH 11 showed a rapid and more complete removal of TOC in aqueous phase. Therefore, it is recommended that UV photolytic persulfate activation under basic pH be a preferred condition for treatment of phenol.