Insights into the synergetic mechanism of a combined vis-RGO/TiO2/peroxodisulfate system for the degradation of PPCPs: Kinetics, environmental factors and products

Ping Chen, Qianxin Zhang, Lingzhi Shen, Ruobai Li, Cuiwen Tan, Tiansheng Chen, Haijin Liu, Yang Liu, Zongwei CAI, Guoguang Liu*, Wenying Lv

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


In recent years, how to effectively remove emerging organic pollutants in water bodies has been studied extensively, especially in the actual complex water environment. In the present study, an effective wastewater treatment system that combined photocatalysis and an oxidizing agent was investigated. Specifically, visible-light driven reduced graphene oxide (RGO)/TiO2 composites were prepared, and peroxodisulfate (PDS) was used as electron acceptor to accelerate the photocatalytic activity of this material. The vis-RGO/TiO2/PDS system exhibited outstanding properties in the degradation of diclofenac (DCF), which was also facilitated by acidic conditions and Cl. Lake water, tap water, river water and HCO3 decreased the DCF degradation rate, while NO3 affected the system only slightly. Low concentrations of fulvic acid (FA) promoted the degradation of DCF via the generation of excited states, whereas a high concentration of FA inhibited the degradation, which was likely due to the light screening effect. The photocatalytic mechanism revealed that PDS served as an electron acceptor for the promotion of electron-hole pair separation and the generation of additional reactive oxygen species, while the RGO served as an electric conductor. The active substances, h+, [rad]OH, 1O2, SO4[rad]- and O2[rad]- were generated in this system, O2[rad]- and h+ played significant roles in the degradation of DCF based electron spin resonance tests and radical quenching results. According to the mass spectrometry results, the amide bond cleavage, dechlorination reaction, hydroxyl addition reaction, and decarboxylation reaction were the primary transformative pathways.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)341-351
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2019

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

User-Defined Keywords

  • Environmental factors
  • Mechanism
  • Peroxodisulfate
  • Photocatalysis


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