Ultrasonics sonochemistry

Removal of 1,1,1-trichloroethane from aqueous solution by a sono-activated persulfate process.

PMID 23266439


1,1,1-Trichloroethane (TCA), labeled as a priority pollutant by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) of China, can be removed from groundwater by sonochemical oxidation. The sonochemical oxidation of TCA in the presence of persulfate (PS) showed a significant synergistic effect. The operational parameters, ultrasonic frequency, PS/TCA molar ratio, radical scavenger, inorganic anions (Cl(-), CO(3)(2-), HCO(3)(-) and NO(3)(-)) and humic acid (HA), were evaluated during the investigation of the sonochemical reaction. The results showed that the degradation of TCA followed pseudo-first-order kinetics, and the rate constant was found to increase with increasing ultrasonic frequency but to decrease with both an increasing PS/TCA molar ratio and an increasing concentration of inorganic anions. With a concentration of 4.46mg/L of HA in solution, an enhanced effect was observed. Further addition of HA retarded the degradation rate of TCA. TCA could be eliminated almost completely by sono-activated persulfate oxidation, with sulfate and hydroxyl radicals serving as the principal oxidants as confirmed by the addition of radical scavengers. Eleven chlorinated degradation intermediates were detected and quantified by purge and trap gas chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry (P&T-GC-MS) in the absence of pH buffer. Three TCA degradation pathways were therefore proposed. In conclusion, the sono-activated persulfate oxidation process appears to be a highly promising technique for the remediation of TCA-contaminated groundwater.