Tetrabromobisphenol A (TBBPA), a widely used brominated flame retardants, has been detected in various environmental matrices and is known to cause various adverse effects on human bodies. This study examined the feasibility and effectiveness of remediating TBBPA using Cu/Fe bimetallic nanoparticles (Cu/Fe BNPs) at various environmental and operational conditions. In general, TBBPA removal rate and debromination efficiency increased with higher Cu doping, higher Cu/Fe BNPs loading, higher temperature, and lower pH. At optimal conditions, TBBPA was completed removed at a rate constant > 0.2 min−1 where over 90% TBBPA was transformed to BPA within 30 min. The activation energy was found to be 35.6 kJ/mol, indicating that TBBPA was predominantly removed via surface-controlled reactions. Under pH 3–7 and ≥ 25 °C, debromination was the dominant removal mechanism compared to adsorption. The complete debromination pathway and the time-evolution of intermediates byproducts at different pHs were also presented. Cu/Fe BNPs can be reused for more than 6 times with performance constancy. Genotoxic tests showed that the treated solution did not find a significant hazardous potential. The byproducts can be further degraded by additional H2O2 through Fenton reaction. These results demonstrated the efficacy of Cu/Fe BNPs for treating TBBPA and its potential for degrading other halogenated organic compounds.
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