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Identifying the Nonradical Mechanism in the Peroxymonosulfate Activation Process: Singlet Oxygenation Versus Mediated Electron Transfer

Yun, Eun-Tae, Lee, Jeong Hoon, Kim, Jaesung, Park, Hee-Deung, Lee, Jaesang
Environmental science & technology 2018 v.52 no.12 pp. 7032-7042
azides, carbon nanotubes, deuterium oxide, electron transfer, environmental science, free radicals, furfuryl alcohol, histidine, oxidation, pH, singlet oxygen, solvents, sulfates
Select persulfate activation processes were demonstrated to initiate oxidation not reliant on sulfate radicals, although the underlying mechanism has yet to be identified. This study explored singlet oxygenation and mediated electron transfer as plausible nonradical mechanisms for organic degradation by carbon nanotube (CNT)-activated peroxymonosulfate (PMS). The degradation of furfuryl alcohol (FFA) as a singlet oxygen (¹O₂) indicator and the kinetic retardation of FFA oxidation in the presence of l-histidine and azide as ¹O₂ quenchers apparently supported a role of ¹O₂ in the CNT/PMS system. However, the ¹O₂ scavenging effect was ascribed to a rapid PMS depletion by l-histidine and azide. A comparison of CNT/PMS and photoexcited Rose Bengal (RB) excluded the possibility of singlet oxygenation during heterogeneous persulfate activation. In contrast to the case of excited RB, solvent exchange (H₂O to D₂O) did not enhance FFA degradation by CNT/PMS and the pH- and substrate-dependent reactivity of CNT/PMS did not reflect the selective nature of ¹O₂. Alternatively, concomitant PMS reduction and trichlorophenol oxidation were achieved when PMS and trichlorophenol were physically separated in two chambers using a conductive vertically aligned CNT membrane. This result suggested that CNT-mediated electron transfer from organics to persulfate was primarily responsible for the nonradical degradative route.