Journal of contaminant hydrology

Persulfate activation by subsurface minerals.

PMID 20439128


Persulfate dynamics in the presence of subsurface minerals was investigated as a basis for understanding persulfate activation for in situ chemical oxidation (ISCO). The mineral-mediated decomposition of persulfate and generation of oxidants and reductants was investigated with four iron and manganese oxides and two clay minerals at both low pH (<7) and high pH (>12). The manganese oxide birnessite was the most effective initiator of persulfate for degrading the oxidant probe nitrobenzene, indicating that oxidants are generated at both low and high pH regimes. The iron oxide goethite was the most effective mineral for degrading the reductant probe hexachloroethane. A natural soil and two soil fractions were used to confirm persulfate activation by synthetic minerals. The soil and soil fractions did not effectively promote the generation of oxidants or reductants. However, soil organic matter was found to promote reductant generation at high pH. The results of this research demonstrate that synthetic iron and manganese oxides can activate persulfate to generate reductants and oxidants; however, iron and manganese oxides in the natural soil studied do not show the same reactivity, most likely due to the lower masses of the metal oxides in the soil relative to the masses studied in isolated mineral systems.