Removal of phenol from aqueous solutions using persulfate-assisted, photocatalytic-activated aluminum oxide nanoparticles

Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Environmental Health Engineering, School of Public Health, Hamadan University of Medical Sciences, Hamadan, Iran

2 Student Research Committee, Hamadan University of Medical Sciences, Hamadan, Iran


The combination process of UV/ S2O82-/Al2O3 leads to the production of radicals and radical hydroxyls, which could decompose and remove various pollutants, such as phenol. The present study aimed to investigate the photocatalytic efficiency of aluminum oxide nanoparticles and persulfate compilative processes in the removal of phenol. This experimental study was conducted in a discontinuous reaction chamber with a useful volume of one liter. In this process, we assessed the effects of the initial pH parameters (3, 5, 7, and 9), initial concentration of phenol (10, 20, 30, 50, and 100 mg/l), concentration of persulfate anions (20, 30, 40, 50, and 60 mg/l), reaction time (5 and 120 minutes), and dose of Al2O3 nanoparticles (10, 20, 30, and 40 mg/l). The applied pilot was composed of a low-pressure mercury lamp (55 Watt), which was inside the steel chamber. The obtained data were fitted to the pseudo-first- and pseudo-second-order reaction kinetics. According to the findings, the process had high efficiency in the removal of phenol. In optimal conditions (pH:5, persulfate concentration: 50 mg/l, nanoparticle dose: 40 mg/l, reaction time: 60 minutes), the efficiency of the process was determined to be 95% at the initial phenol concentration of 10 mg/l, which was fitted with first-rate kinetics (R2=0.98). Furthermore, the highest efficiency was observed in the photocatalytic process of aluminum oxide nanoparticles and persulfates in the optimal conditions of exploitation. Therefore, persulfate could be used as an appropriate oxidizer with aluminum oxide nanoparticles for the removal of phenol.


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