Mineralisation of surfactants using ultrasound and the Advanced Fenton Process

Alberto Naldoni, Alessandro Schiboula, Claudia L. Bianchi, David H. Bremner

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    The destruction of the surfactants, sodium dodecylbenzene sulfonate (DBS) and dodecyl pyridinium chloride (DPC), using an advanced oxidation process is described. The use of zero valent iron (ZVI) and hydrogen peroxide at pH = 2.5 (the advanced Fenton process), with and without, the application of 20 kHz ultrasound leads to extensive mineralisation of both materials as determined by total organic carbon (TOC)measurements. For DBS, merely stirring with ZVI and H2O2 at 20°C leads to a 51% decrease in TOC, but using 20 kHz ultrasound at 40°C, maintaining the pH at 2.5 throughout and adding extra amounts of ZVI and H2O2 during the degradation, then the extent of mineralisation of DBS is substantially increased to 93%. A similar result is seen for DPC where virtually no degradation occurs at 20°C, but if extra amounts of both ZVI and hydrogen peroxide are introduced during the reaction at 40°C and the pH is maintained at 2.5, then an 87% mineralisation of DPC is obtained. The slow latent remediation of both surfactants and the mechanism of degradation are also discussed.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)487–495
    JournalWater Air and Soil Pollution
    Issue number1-4
    Publication statusPublished - Feb 2011


    • Mineralisation
    • Surfactants
    • Sodium dodecylbenzene sulfonate
    • Dodecylpyridinium chloride
    • Advanced Fenton process
    • Zero valent iron
    • Hydrogen peroxide


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