Decolorization of anthraquinone dye Reactive Blue 19 (RB19) with sulfate radicals generated in situ from persulfate and zero-valent iron (ZVI) was investigated. The effects of initial solution pH, initial concentration of RB19, ZVI and persulfate, reaction temperature and common dissolved anions were studied. 100% color removal efficiency and 54% TOC removal efficiency were achieved in 45 min with an initial RB19 concentration of 0.1 mM under typical conditions (pH 7.0, 0.8 g L−1 ZVI, 10 mM persulfate and 30 °C). The decolorization efficiency of RB19 increased with higher iron dosage, higher initial persulfate concentration, and higher reaction temperature. It is also an acid driven process. The decolorization process followed pseudo-first order kinetics and the activation energy was 98.1 kJ mol−1. RB19 decolorization was inhibited by common dissolved anions such as Cl−, NO3−, H2PO4− and HCO3− since they reacted with sulfate radicals that retarded the oxidation process. The experiment demonstrated that the combination of persulfate and ZVI was a promising technology for the decolorization of dye wastewater.
Keywords: anthraquinone dye, decolorization, persulfate, Reactive Blue 19, zero-valent iron