Singlet oxygen (1O2) and hydroxyl radical (·OH) play an important role in the degradation of pollutants in surface waters. However, the mechanism underlying the photochemical generation of 1O2 and ·OH in wastewaters is poorly known. Here we studied the photo-induced generation of 1O2 and ·OH in different sewage treatment plant units. The correlation between the generation of 1O2 and ·OH and the water constituents was discussed. Our results show that in sewage units the 1O2 formation rate ranges from 2.19 × 10−8 to 6.74 × 10−8 mol L−1 s−1, and the ·OH formation rate ranges from 1.7 × 10−11 to 3.06 × 10−10 mol L−1 s−1. The average 1O2 formation rates in the various sewage units are similar to those in wetland and estuarine waters containing rich dissolved organic matter and 2–4 times higher than those in lake and seawater samples. The average ·OH formation rates of the sewage units are 5–50 times higher than for other water samples reported. The ·OH generation rate increased with the iron content with a correlation coefficient of 0.85, which indicates that the photo-Fenton reaction plays a dominant role in ·OH generation in sewage wastewater.
Environmental Chemistry Letters – Springer Journals
Published: Apr 3, 2017
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