Heterogeneous photocatalytic degradation of phenanthrene in surfactant solution containing TiO2 particles

Yanlin Zhang*, Jonathan W C WONG, Peihong Liu, Min Yuan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

58 Citations (Scopus)


Photocatalytic degradation of phenanthrene (PHE) over TiO2 in aqueous solution containing nonionic surfactant micelles was investigated. All photocatalytic experiments were conducted using a 253.7nm mercury monochromatic ultraviolet lamp in a photocatalytic reactor. The surfactant micelles could provide a nonaqueous " cage" to result in a higher degradation rate of PHE than in an aqueous solution, but the higher Triton X-100 concentration (more than 2g/L) lowered the degradation ratio of PHE because the additional surfactant micelles hindered the movement of micelles containing PHE so as to reduce their adsorption onto titania. Pseudo-second-order kinetics was observed for the photocatalytic degradation of PHE. Alkaline solution environment was beneficial to the photocatalytic degradation of PHE. PHE degradation could mainly be attributed to the formation of hydroxyl radicals as evident from the comparison of degradation efficiencies when O2, H2O2 and tert-butyl alcohol (TBA) were applied as oxidants or hydroxyl radical scavenger. Based on the GC/MS analysis of the intermediates, the possible pathways of the photocatalytic degradation of PHE were proposed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)136-143
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Hazardous Materials
Issue number1-3
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jul 2011

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

User-Defined Keywords

  • Degradation pathway
  • Phenanthrene
  • Photocatalytic degradation
  • Surfactant


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