Activation of Persulfate by Irradiated Magnetite: Implications for the Degradation of Phenol under Heterogeneous Photo-Fenton-Like Conditions

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Dipartimento di Chimica, Università di Torino, Via Pietro Giuria 5, 10125 Torino, Italy
Ecole Nationale Supérieure de Chimie de Rennes, CNRS, UMR 6226, 11 Allée de Beaulieu, CS 50837, 35708 Rennes Cedex 7, France
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Cite this: Environ. Sci. Technol. 2015, 49, 2, 1043–1050
Publication Date (Web):December 10, 2014
Copyright © 2014 American Chemical Society
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We show that phenol can be effectively degraded by magnetite in the presence of persulfate (S2O82–) under UVA irradiation. The process involves the radical SO4–•, formed from S2O82– in the presence of FeII. Although magnetite naturally contains FeII, the air-exposed oxide surface is fully oxidized to FeIII and irradiation is required to produce FeII. The magnetite + S2O82– system was superior to the corresponding magnetite + H2O2 one in the presence of radical scavengers and in a natural water matrix, but it induced phenol mineralization in ultrapure water to a lesser extent. The leaching of Fe from the oxide surface was very limited, and much below the wastewater discharge limits. The reasonable performance of the magnetite/persulfate system in a natural water matrix and the low levels of dissolved Fe are potentially important for the removal of organic contaminants in wastewater.

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Characterization of magnetite samples, instrumental conditions for analysis, reactivity of OH and SO4–• toward aromatic compounds, experiments on multiple magnetite use. This material is available free of charge via the Internet at

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