This work reports the use of ferrioxalate complexes to assist solar photo-Fenton treatment of pentachlorophenol (PCP) in aqueous medium at mild pH, which inhibits the precipitation of iron hydroxides and allows working at a low iron dosage. The experimental parameters were optimized by assessing the effect of initial concentrations of H2O2 (0–2.5 mM) and Fe(II) (2–10 mg/L), pH (3.0–9.0) and iron/oxalic acid molar ratios (1:0–1:13.5) on total organic carbon (TOC) removal. Ferrioxalate-assisted solar photo-Fenton achieved 97.5% mineralization in 120 min, clearly outperforming conventional Fenton and solar photo-Fenton. The presence of photosensitive ferrioxalate complexes accounted for the enhancement, as a result of Fe(II) regeneration that accelerated the hydroxyl radical ([rad]OH) production. The time course of H2O2 and Fe(II) concentrations was evaluated under different iron/oxalic acid ratios. The five carboxylic acids determined by ion-exclusion HPLC and the eight aromatic by-products identified by GC-MS allowed the proposal of a degradation pathway that included hydroxylation, dechlorination and dimerization steps. Complete chloride ion release was achieved after 90 min of treatment.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Environmental Engineering
- Environmental Chemistry
- Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis