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Environ Sci Technol. 2016 Sep 20;50(18):10187-97. doi: 10.1021/acs.est.6b02841. Epub 2016 Sep 9.

Activation of Peroxymonosulfate by Surface-Loaded Noble Metal Nanoparticles for Oxidative Degradation of Organic Compounds.

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Civil, Environmental, and Architectural Engineering, Korea University , Seoul 136-701, Korea.
Urban and Environmental Engineering, KIST-UNIST-Ulsan Center for Convergent Materials (KUUC), Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology , Ulsan 698-805, Korea.
Center for Materials Architecturing, Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST) , Seoul 136-701, Korea.
Chemical and Environmental Engineering, Yale University , New Haven, Connecticut 06511, United States.
Energy Environmental Policy and Technology, Green School, Korea University-KIST , Seoul 136-701, Korea.


This study demonstrates the capability of noble metal nanoparticles immobilized on Al2O3 or TiO2 support to effectively activate peroxymonosulfate (PMS) and degrade select organic compounds in water. The noble metals outperformed a benchmark PMS activator such as Co(2+) (water-soluble) for PMS activation and organic compound degradation at acidic pH and showed the comparable activation capacity at neutral pH. The efficiency was found to depend on the type of noble metal (following the order of Pd > Pt ≈ Au ≫ Ag), the amount of noble metal deposited onto the support, solution pH, and the type of target organic substrate. In contrast to common PMS-activated oxidation processes that involve sulfate radical as a main oxidant, the organic compound degradation kinetics were not affected by sulfate radical scavengers and exhibited substrate dependency that resembled the PMS activated by carbon nanotubes. The results presented herein suggest that noble metals can mediate electron transfer from organic compounds to PMS to achieve persulfate-driven oxidation, rather than through reductive conversion of PMS to reactive sulfate radical.

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