Journal article

Enhanced sonochemical degradation of bisphenol-A by bicarbonate ions

Sonochemical elimination of organic pollutants can take place through two degradation pathways. Molecules with relatively large Henry’s law constants will be incinerated inside the cavitation bubble, while nonvolatile molecules with low Henry’s law constants will be oxidised by the OHradical dot ejected from the bubble of cavitation. Taking bisphenol-A as a model pollutant, this study points out an alternate degradation route, mediated by bicarbonate ions, which is significant for the elimination of micro-pollutants at concentrations present in natural waters. In this process, OHradical dot radicals react with bicarbonate ions to produce the carbonate radical, which, unlike the OHradical dot radical, can migrate towards the bulk of the solution and therefore induce the degradation of the micro-pollutants present in the bulk solution. As a consequence, initial degradation rate is increased by a factor 3.2 at low concentration of bisphenol-A (0.022 μmol l−1) in presence of bicarbonate in water.


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