The modelling of trichloroethene photodegradation in Brij 35 surfactant by two-stage reaction

W. K. Choy, Wei Chu

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Various clean-up technologies have been developed for the removal and/or destruction of trichloroethene (TCE) in the subsurface. Surfactant-aided soil washing followed by photodegradation could be a promising approach to such a task. The modelling of TCE photodegradation by UV in Brij 35 surfactant micelles is therefore investigated. Two stages of TCE degradation are observed in surfactant Brij 35 systems. A lag phase is observed at the commencement of the degradation, but the duration of the lag phase is significantly reduced as the initial pH increases. As the overall decay of TCE is also found to be faster at higher pH levels, it is suggested that the free radical reaction is dominant at high pH levels, and the formation of lag phases is mainly due to the deficiency of free radicals at lower pH levels. Since the period of the lag phase gradually decreases with the increase of initial pH level, and the two pseudo first-order reaction constants (one for the lag phase and one for the subsequent fast decay) for TCE decay in both stages are also pH dependent, a non-steady-state mathematical model is developed for the prediction of TCE photodegradation in Brij 35 solutions, in which the remaining fraction of TCE (C/C0) in the system can be determined at any instant by using a simple parameter of the initial system pH.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)211-215
Number of pages5
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 9 Jul 2001


  • Brij 35
  • Free radicals
  • Mathematical modelling
  • Photodegradation
  • Trichloroethene

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry


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