Investigation of Phenol Removal in Aqueous Solutions Using Advanced Photochemical Oxidation (APO)

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Ph.D. of Environmental Eng., Urmia Petrochemical Company

2 Prof. of Environmental Eng., Dept. of Environment, University of Tehran

3 Assist. Prof., Civil Eng. Dept., Islamic Azad University, Branch of Ahar

4 . Prof. of Environmental Eng., Dept. of Environment, University of Tehran

5 Head of Environment, HSE Department, National Petrochemical Company, Tehran


Most organic compounds are resistant to conven­tional chemical and biological treatments. For this reason, other methods are being studied as alter­natives to the biological and classical physico-chemical pro­cesses. In this study, advanced photochemical oxidation (APO) processes (UV, UV/H2O2, UV/H2O2/Fe(II), andUV/H2O2/Fe(III)) were investigated in lab-scale experiments for the degradation of phenol in an aqueous solution. A medium-pressure 300 watt (UV-C) mercury ultraviolet lamp was used as the radiation source and H2O2 30% as the oxidant. Phenol (initial concentration= 0.5 mmol/L) was selected as the model due to its high use and application. Some important parameters such as pH, H2O2 input concentration, iron catalyst concentration, the type of iron salt, and duration of UV radiation were studied based on the standard methods. The results showed that the Photo-Fenton process was the most effective treatment under acidic conditions producing a higher rate of phenol degradation over a very short radiation time. The process accelerated the oxidation rate by 4-5 times the rate of the UV/H2O2 process. The optimum conditions were obtained at a pH value of 3, with a molar ratio of 11.61 for H2O2/Phenol and molar ratios of 0.083 and 0.067for Iron/H2O2 in the UV/H2O2/Fe (II) and the UV/H2O2/Fe (III) systems, respectively.


1- Nemerow, N. L. (1991). Industrial and hazardous waste treatment, 1st Ed., Van Norstrand Reinhold,New York.
 2- Scheck, C. K., and Ferimmel, F.H. (1995). “Degradation of phenol and salicylic acid by ultraviolet radiation/hydrogen peroxide/oxygen.” Water Research, 29(10), 2346-2352.
3- Ollis D. (1993). “Comparative aspects of advanced oxidation processes.” Emerging Technologies in Waste Management III, Chap. 2,ACS Symposium Series 518.WashingtonDC, 18-34.
4- Shen Y. S., and Lee, K. C.(1995). “The effect of light absorbance on the decomposition of chlorophenols by UV radiation and UV/H2O2 processes.” Water Research, 29(3), 907-914.
5- موحدیان عطار، ح.، و رضایی، ر. (1385). بررسی کارایی فن‌آوری اکسیداسیون فتوشیمیایی پیشرفته در تجزیه رنگزای پلی‌آزوی مستقیم با فرایند UV/H2O2. مجله آب و فاضلاب، 59، 75-83.
6- صاین، ج.، آمی سما، ع. (1383). بررسی سینتیکی و ترمودینامیکی تجزیه محلولهای محتوی سولفانیلیک اسید در یک واکنشگاه فتوشیمیایی با تابش مستقیم نور فرابنفش ، در حضور و غیاب H2O2. نهمین کنگره ملی مهندسی شیمی ایران، دانشگاه علم و صنعت ایران، 2716-2724.
7- Glaze, W.H., and Kang, J.W. (1989). “Advanced oxidation processes. Description of a kinetic model for the oxidation of hazardous materials in aqueous media with ozone and hydrogen peroxide in a semibatch reactor.” Ind. Eng. Chem. Res., 28 (11), 1573-1580.
8- Adams C.D., Scanlan P.A., and SecristN.S.(1994). “Oxidation and biodegradability enhancement of 1,4-dioxane using hy-drogen peroxide and ozone.” Environ. Sci. Technol., 28 (11), 1808-1812.
9- Oppenlander, T. (2003). Photochemical purification of water and air, advanced oxidation processes (AOPs): principles, research mechanisms, reactor concepts, 1st Ed., Weinheim, Wiley-VCH Verlag.
10- U.S.Environmental Protection Agency (1998). Handbook on advanced photochemical oxidation processes,Cincinnati,Ohio: EPA/625/R-98/004,USA.
11- Ghaly, M. Y., Hartel, G., Mayer, R., and Haseneder, R. (2001). “ Photochemical oxidation of p-chlorophenol by UV/H2O2 and photo-Fenton process. A comparative study.” Waste Management, 21 (1), 41-47.
12- Chamarro, E., Marco, A., and Esplugas, S. (2001) “Use of Fenton reagent to improve organic chemical biodegradability.” Water Research, 35(4), 1047-1051
13- APHA, AWWA and WEF. (1998). Standard methods for the examination of water and wastewater, 20th Ed.,WashingtonDC,USA.
14- Mokrini, A., Oussi, D., and Esplugas, S. (1997). “Oxidation of aromatic compounds with UV radiation/ozone/hydrogen peroxide.” Water Science and Technology, 35(4), 95-102.
15- Bigda, R.J. (1995). “Consider fentons chemistry for wastewater treatment.” Chem. Eng. Prog., 91(12),
16- Bentez, F.J., Beltran-Heredia, J., Acero, J.L., and Rubio, F.J. (1999). “Chemical decomposition of 2, 4,
6-trichlorophenol by Ozone, Fenton’s reagent and UV radiation.” Ind. Eng. Chem. Res., 38(4), 1341-1349.
17- Chen, J., Rulkens, W.R., and Bruning, H. (1997). “Photo chemical elimination of phenols and COD in industrial wastewater.” Water Science and Technology, 35(4), 231-238.