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Chemosphere. 2006 Feb;62(6):926-33. Epub 2005 Jul 26.

Degradation mechanism and the toxicity assessment in TiO2 photocatalysis and photolysis of parathion.

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  • 1Institute of Health and Environment, School of Public Health, Seoul National University, Seoul 110-799, Republic of Korea.


The photocatalytic degradation of methyl parathion was carried out using a circulating TiO2/UV reactor. The experimental results showed that parathion was more effectively degraded in the photocatalytic condition than the photolysis and TiO2-only condition. With photocatalysis, 10mg/l parathion was completely degraded within 60 min with a TOC decrease exceeding 90% after 150 min. The main ionic byproducts during photocatalysis were measured. The nitrogen from parathion was recovered mainly as NO3-, NO2- and NH4+, 80% of the sulfur as SO4(2-), and less than 5% of the phosphorus as PO4(3-). The organic intermediates 4-nitrophenol and paraoxon were also identified, and these were further degraded. Two different bioassays (Vibrio fischeri and Daphnia magna) were used to test the acute toxicity of solutions treated by photocatalysis and photolysis. A Microtox test using V. fischeri showed that the toxicity, expressed as the relative toxicity (%), was reduced almost completely after 90 min under photocatalysis, whereas only an 83% reduction was achieved with photolysis alone. Another toxicity test using D. magna also showed that the relative toxicity disappeared after 90 min under photocatalysis, whereas there was a 65% reduction in relative toxicity with photolysis alone. The pattern of toxicity reduction parallels the decrease in parathion and TOC concentrations.

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