Identification of Active Radical Species in Alkaline Persulfate Oxidation.

Research paper by Chenju C Liang, Jung-Hsuan JH Lei

Indexed on: 15 Jul '15Published on: 15 Jul '15Published in: Water environment research : a research publication of the Water Environment Federation


A proposed mechanism for alkaline activation of persulfate involves generation of sulfate (SO(4)(-)), hydroxyl (HO·), and superoxide radicals (O(2)(-)). The present study investigated the feasibility of chloroform (CF) degradation using alkaline activated persulfate and identified the active radical species using a radical inhibition technique. 2-propanol (PrOH) (preferentially reacted with HO·), phenol (preferentially reacted with both HO· and SO(4)(-)), and carbon tetrachloride (CT) (preferentially reacted with O(2)(-)) were used to inhibit the degradation of CF, and the extent of inhibited degradation was used to indicate the predominant radical species. Additions of PrOH and phenol appeared to significantly scavenge SO(4)(-) and HO· and resulted in inhibited CF degradation. Here, the authors demonstrated that SO(4)(-) and HO· were predominant radicals in the alkaline activated persulfate system. The presence of O(2)(-) scavengers (i.e., CT) resulted in a partial inhibition of CF degradation and, hence, one can speculate that O(2)(-) is a minor radical species.