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J Hazard Mater. 2016 May 5;308:386-93. doi: 10.1016/j.jhazmat.2016.01.075. Epub 2016 Feb 1.

The mechanism study of efficient degradation of hydrophobic nonylphenol in solution by a chemical-free technology of sonophotolysis.

Author information

1
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hung Hom, Kowloon, Hong Kong.
2
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hung Hom, Kowloon, Hong Kong. Electronic address: cewchu@polyu.edu.hk.

Abstract

Nonylphenol is a hydrophobic endocrine disrupting compound, which can inhibit the growth of sewage bacteria in biological processes. This study investigated the degradation of 4-n-nonylphenol (NP) in water by a chemical-free technology of sonophotolysis with emphasis on the impacts of several important parameters, including light intensity, solution pH, two commonly seen inorganic ions (i.e. NO3(-) and HCO3(-)), and principally on the examination of degradation mechanisms. It was found that, solution pH could significantly influence both NP degradation efficiency and the synergistic effect of sonophotolytic process, where higher synergistic effect was obtained at more acidic condition. In addition, the presence of NO3(-) accelerated NP degradation by both acting as a photosensitizer and providing NO2˙ radicals, while HCO3(-) had little effect on NP degradation. Identification of intermediates of NP degradation indicated that NP sonophotolysis was mainly initiated by the formation of hydroxy-NP, and a new intermediate di-hydroxy-NP was identified for the first time ever in this study. Through thermodynamic analysis, results indicated that both ortho- and meta-hydroxy-NP species can coexist in the solution but the ortho-4-NBZQ (4-nonyl-benzoquinone) is dominant. In addition, the mechanism of ortho-hydroxy-NP formation was suggested by the addition of HO˙ and H˙ radicals.

KEYWORDS:

Degradation; Intermediate; Mechanism; Nonylphenol; Sonophotolysis

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