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Environ Sci Technol. 2002 Oct 15;36(20):4364-9.

Aqueous photodegradation of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons.


Photodegradation of 12 polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons was studied in aerated pure water, solutions of Suwannee River fulvic acid, and natural waters using polychromatic light (>290 nm). Quantum yields in pure water varied from 3.2 x 10(-5) to 9.2 x 10(-3). No obvious relationships were evident among the quantum yields and molecular properties. Photodegradation rate constants in solutions of Suwannee River fulvic acid or natural waters were largely unchanged compared to rate constants in pure water. Estimates of PAH photodegradation rates in natural waters can thus be obtained employing the quantum yields in pure water, PAH absorption, and solar irradiance. Calculated rate constants for photodegradation in surface waters during the summertime at mid-latitude varied from 3.2 x 10(-3) to 7.6 h(-1).

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