Main content area

Effect of sound frequency and initial concentration on the sonochemical degradation of perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS)

Rodriguez-Freire, Lucia, Balachandran, Rajesh, Sierra-Alvarez, Reyes, Keswani, Manish
Journal of hazardous materials 2015 v.300 pp. 662-669
aqueous solutions, fluorides, oxidation, perfluorocarbons, surfactants, ultrasonics
Perfluoooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS) is a perfluorinated compound (PFC) highly resistant to conventional advance oxidation processes, which was widely used in industrial activities due to its surfactant nature, olephobic–hydrophobic properties, and chemical inertness. Sonochemical treatment has been suggested as an effective approach to treat aqueous solutions containing minimal levels of PFCs. This study investigates PFOS sonochemical degradation and its dependency on the initial concentration (10–460μM), and the applied sound frequency (25 and 500kHz, and 1MHz). PFOS was degraded by sonochemical treatment at concentrations as high as 460μM, as demonstrated by fluoride release and total organic content data. PFOS degradation rate was higher at megasonic frequencies (1MHz) compared to ultrasonic frequencies (25–500kHz). PFOS degradation was controlled by saturation kinetics as indicated by an increase in PFOS degradation rate with increasing PFOS concentration until a maximum, after which the degradation rate was independent of the concentration. The saturation conditions were dependent on the sound frequency, and they were reached at a lower concentration under 1MHz (100μM) compared to the 500kHz frequency (>460μM). Overall, the results of this study demonstrate that high PFOS concentration can be effectively sonochemically treated using megasonic frequencies.