Infoscience

Journal article

VUV/UV light inducing accelerated phenol degradation with a low electric input

This study presents the first evidence for the accelerated degradation of phenol by Fenton's reagent in a minifluidic VUV/UV photoreaction system (MVPS). A low-pressure mercury lamp used in the MVPS led to a complete degradation of phenol within 4-6 min. The HO center dot and HO2 center dot originating from both Fenton's reagent and VUV photolysis of water were identified with suitable radical scavengers. The effects of initial concentrations of phenol, H2O2 and Fe3+ as well as solution pH on phenol degradation kinetics were examined. Increasing the initial phenol concentration slowed down the phenol degradation, whereas increasing the initial H2O2 or Fe3+ concentration accelerated the phenol degradation. The optimal solution pH was 3.7. At both 254 and 185 nm, increasing phenol concentration enhanced its absorption for the incident photons. The reaction mechanism for the degradation of phenol was suggested consistent with the results obtained. This study indicates that the VUV/UV photo-Fenton process has potential applications in the treatment of industrial wastewater containing phenol and related aromatic pollutants.

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