Photodegradation of 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid in various iron-mediated oxidation systems

C. Y. Kwan, Wei Chu

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The oxidation of herbicide 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D) by different iron-mediated processes, with or without the presence of ultraviolet (at 253.7nm) and oxalate, was investigated and compared. The initial decay rate and the overall removal percentage were used as the performance indexes. To extensively explore the associated processes, the following combinations or blank systems were investigated: UV radiation only, Fe2+/H2O2, Fe2+/H2O2/UV, ferrous oxalate/H2O2, ferrous oxalate/H2O2/UV, Fe3+/H2O2, Fe3+/H2O2/UV, ferrioxalate/H2O2, and ferrioxalate/H2O2/UV. This study showed that the degradation of 2,4-D by sole UV or dark processes (without UV) is generally slow, except by the conventional Fenton's process (Fe2+/H2O2). However, these slow reactions can be accelerated by exposure to UV irradiation, which can increase the initial 2,4-D decay rate from ten to more than one hundred times. Furthermore, if the reaction is initiated by ferrous oxalate or ferrioxalate instead of Fe2+or Fe3+ions, the rates can be further improved, because of the higher light sensitivity of the organometallic complexes. These reactions were also found sensitive to the initial hydrogen peroxide concentration. The competition of hydroxyl free radicals by the primary intermediate, 2,4-dichlorophenol, was also observed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4405-4412
Number of pages8
JournalWater Research
Issue number18
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2003


  • 2,4-D
  • Ferric
  • Ferrous
  • Oxalate
  • Peroxide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecological Modelling
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution

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