Multivariate analysis of photo-Fenton degradation of the herbicides tebuthiuron, diuron and 2,4-D.

PMID 15664618


The degradation of herbicides in aqueous solution by photo-Fenton process using ferrioxalate complex (FeOx) as source of Fe2+ was evaluated under blacklight irradiation. The commercial products of the herbicides tebuthiuron, diuron and 2,4-D were used. The multivariate analysis, more precisely, the response surface methodology was applied to evaluate the role of FeOx and hydrogen peroxide concentrations as variables in the degradation process, and in particular, to define the concentration ranges that result in the most efficient degradation of the herbicides. The degradation process was evaluated by the determination of the remaining total organic carbon content (TOC), by monitoring the decrease of the concentrations of the original compounds using HPLC and by the chloride ion release in the case of diuron and 2,4-D. Under optimized conditions, 20 min were sufficient to mineralize 93% of TOC from 2,4-D and 90% of diuron, including oxalate. Complete dechlorination of these compounds was achieved after 10 min reaction. It was found that the most recalcitrant herbicide is tebuthiuron, while diuron shows the highest degradability. However, under optimized conditions the initial concentration of tebuthiuron was reduced to less than 15%, while diuron and 2,4-D were reduced to around 2% after only 1 min reaction. Furthermore, it was observed that the ferrioxalate complex plays a more important role than H2O2 in the photodegradation of these herbicides in the ranges of concentrations investigated.

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Tebuthiuron, PESTANAL®, analytical standard