Optimization and evaluation of the efficiency of sono-Fenton and photo-Fenton processes in the removal of 2, 4, 6 trinitrotoluene (TNT) from aqueous solutions

Document Type : Original Article


1 Environmental Health Engineering, Military Health Department, Aja University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

2 Environmental Health Engineering, School of Public Health, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran

3 Environmental Engineering, Military Health Department, Aja University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran


The adverse health effects of trinitrotoluene (TNT) include allergies, liver and blood damage, and carcinogenesis. The present study aimed to optimize the sono-Fenton and photo-Fenton processes for the removal of TNT from aqueous solutions. TNT removal was evaluated at various pH (acidic, neutral, and alkaline), pollutant concentrations (10, 30, 50, 100, and 120 mg/l), H2O2 concentration (10-80 mM), and ferrous ions (0.5-4 Mm). After the optimization of the parameters, the appropriate UV irradiation time and optimal time of ultrasonic waves were determined for the removal of this compound. TNT concentration was measured using high-performance liquid chromatography. Increased hydrogen peroxide from 10 to 40 mMole/l led to higher TNT degradation (45.3% to 88.4% and 40 to 80 mMole/l), while the removal rate decreased from 88.4% to 79%. At the optimal H2O2 concentration, increased pH (3±0.2 to 11±0.2) decreased TNT decomposition from 88.4% to 23.5%. In addition, increased time (5 to 60 minutes) led to the higher photo-Fenton process efficiency (68.6% to 89%). The maximum photo-Fenton efficiency was achieved in optimal conditions at the TNT concentration of 10 mg/L (97%) and 60 minutes, while the efficiency of the sono-Fenton process in optimal conditions was 100% at 20 minutes. Therefore, it was concluded that the sono-Fenton process was effective in the removal of TNT.


 1. Khurana I, Shaw AK, Saxena A, Khurana JM, Rai PK. Removal of trinitrotoluene with nano zerovalent iron impregnated graphene oxide. Water Air Soil Pollut 2018; 229(1): 17-19.
2. The website of the EPA [online]. Available from: http://www2.epa.gov/ fedfac/hazard-assessment-munitions-and-explosives-concern-workgroup-briefing-book-sectiond. [accessed26 june2017]
3. Zhou Y, Liu X, Jiang W, Shu Y. Theoretical insight into reaction mechanisms of 2, 4-dinitroanisole with hydroxyl radicals for advanced oxidation processes. J Mol Model 2018; 24(2): 44-8.
4. Rodgers JD, Bunce NJ. Treatment methods for the remediation of nitroaromatic explosives. Water Res 2001; 35(9): 2101-11.
5. Shukla N, Gupta V, Rawat AS, Gahlot VK, Shrivastava S, Rai PK. 2, 4-Dinitrotoluene (DNT) and 2, 4, 6-Trinitrotoluene (TNT) removal kinetics and degradation mechanism using zero valent iron-silica nanocomposite. J Environ Chem Eng 2018; 6(4): 5196-203.
6. Bautista P, Mohedano A, Casas J, Zazo J, Rodriguez J. An overview of the application of Fenton oxidation to industrial wastewaters treatment. J Chem Technol Biotechnol 2008; 83(10): 1323-38.
7. Chavoshani A, Amin MM, Asgari G, Seidmohammadi A, Hashemi M. Microwave/hydrogen peroxide processes. In Advanced Oxidation Processes for Waste Water Treatment, Academic Press- Emerging Green Chemical Technology 2018: 215-255.
8. Malakootian M, Dowlatshahi S, Hashemi Cholicheh M. Reviewing the photocatalytic processes efficiency with and without hydrogen peroxide in cyanide removal from aqueous solutions. J Mazandaran Univ Med Sci 2013; 23(104): 69-78.
9. Irmak S, Kusvuran E, Erbatur O. Degradation of 4-chloro-2-methylphenol in aqueous solution by UV irradiation in the presence of titanium dioxide. Appl Catal B Environ 2004; 54(2): 85-91.
10. Irmak S, Yavuz HI, Erbatur O. Degradation of 4-chloro-2-methylphenol in aqueous solution by electro-Fenton and photoelectro-Fenton processes. Appl Catal B Environ 2006; 63(3): 243-8.
11. Özdemir C, Öden MK, Şahinkaya S, Kalipci E. Color removal from synthetic textile wastewater by sono-fenton process. Clean Soil Air Water 2011; 39(1): 60-7.
12. Wu Y, Zhou S, Qin F, Zheng K, Ye X. Modeling the oxidation kinetics of Fenton's process on the degradation of humic acid. J Hazard Mater 2010; 179(1-3): 533-9.
13. Özcan A, Şahin Y, Oturan MA. Removal of propham from water by using electro-Fenton technology: Kinetics and mechanism. Chemosphere 2008; 73(5): 737-44.
14. Rashid MM, Sato C. Photolysis, sonolysis, and photosonolysis of trichloroethane (TCA), trichloroethylene (TCE), and tetrachloroethylene (PCE) without catalyst. Water Air Soil Pollut 2011; 216(1-4): 429-40.
15. Boutamine Z, Hamdaoui O, Merouani S. Sonochemical and photosonochemical degradation of endocrine disruptor 2-phenoxyethanol in aqueous media. Sep Purif Technol 2018; 26: 356-64.
16. Monteagudo JM, Durán A, San Martín I, García S. Ultrasound-assisted homogeneous photocatalytic degradation of Reactive Blue 4 in aqueous solution. Appl Catal B Environ 2014; 152: 59-67.
17. Ince NH. Ultrasound-assisted advanced oxidation processes for water decontamination. Ultrason Sonochem 2018; 40: 97-103.
18. Oh SY, Chiu PC, Kim BJ, Cha DK.  Enhancing Fenton oxidation of TNT and RDX through pretreatment with zero-valent iron. Water Res 2003; 37(17): 4275-83.
19. Hoffmann MR, Hua I, Höchemer R. Application of ultrasonic irradiation for the degradation of chemical contaminants in water. Ultrason Sonochem1996; 3(3): S163-S172.
20. Amin MM, Teimouri F. Comparison of simple ozonation and direct hydrogen peroxide processes in TNT removal from aqueous solution. J Water Supply Res Technol AQUA 2016; 65(70): 564-9.
21. Chen WS, Huang YL. Removal of dinitrotoluenes and trinitrotoluene from industrial wastewater by ultrasound enhanced with titanium dioxide. Ultrason Sonochem 2011; 18(5): 1232-40.
22. Ayoub K, van Hullebusch ED, Cassir M, Bermond A. Application of advanced oxidation processes for TNT removal: A review. J Hazard Mater 2010; 178(1-3): 10-28.
23. Rice EW, Baird RB, Eaton AD, Clesceri LS. Standard Methods for the Examination of Water and Wastewater. 22th ed. Washington DC: American Public Health Association, 2012.
24. Ayoub K, Nélieu S, Van Hullebusch ED, Labanowski J, Schmitz-Afonso I, Bermond A, et al. Electro-Fenton removal of TNT: Evidences of the electro-chemical reduction contribution. Appl Catal B Environ 2011; 104(1-2): 169-76.
25. Xu L, Wang J. A heterogeneous Fenton-like system with nanoparticulate zero-valent iron for removal of 4-chloro-3-methyl phenol. J Hazad Mater 2011; 186(1): 256-64.
26. Babuponnusami A, Muthukumar K. Removal of phenol by heterogenous photo electro Fenton-like process using nano-zero valent iron. Sep Purif Technol 2012; 98: 130-5.
27. Mehrdad A, Farkhondeh S, Hasaspoor F. Kinetic study of sonocatalytic degradation of Methylene blue by sonofenton process. J Appl Chem 2017; 12(45): 83-90.
28. Zhang H, Fu H, Zhang D. Degradation of CI Acid Orange 7 by ultrasound enhanced heterogeneous Fenton-like process. J Hazard Mater 2009; 172(2-3): 654-60.
29. Kušić H, Božić AL, Koprivanac N. Fenton type processes for minimization of organic content in coloured wastewaters: Part I: Processes optimization. Dyes Pigm 2007; 74(2): 380-7.
30. Neyens E, Baeyens J. A review of classic Fenton’s peroxidation as an advanced oxidation technique. J Hazard Mater 2003; 98(1-3): 33-50.
31. Liu J, Ou C, Han W, Shen J, Bi H, Sun X, et al. Selective removal of nitroaromatic compounds from wastewater in an integrated zero valent iron (ZVI) reduction and ZVI/H2O2 oxidation process. RSC Adv 2015; 5(71): 57444-52.
32. Matta R, Hanna K, Kone T, Chiron S. Oxidation of 2, 4, 6-trinitrotoluene in the presence of different iron-bearing minerals at neutral pH. Chem Eng J 2008; 144(3): 453-8.