The degradation reaction of a simple mixture of pollutants (dichloroacetic acid + formic acid) employing H2O2 and UVC radiation (253.7 nm) has been studied in a well-mixed reactor which operates inside a recycling system. The aim of this work is to develop a systematic methodology for treating degradation of mixtures of pollutants, starting from a rather manageable system to more complex aggregates. In this contribution, the effects of different variables such as hydrogen peroxide/pollutant mixture initial concentration ratio, pH and incident radiation at the reactor wall were studied. The results show that the best degrading conditions are: pH = 3.5 and hydrogen peroxide concentrations from 3.9 to 11.8 mM (134–400 mg/L), for initial concentrations of 1.10 and 0.39 mM for formic acid and dichoroacetic acid respectively (50 mg/L for both pollutants). The influence of the incident radiation at the reactor wall on the degradation rates of the mixture is significant. In addition to this, it has been shown that in the employed aqueous solution no stable reaction intermediates are formed. On this basis, a complete reaction scheme for the mixture is proposed that is suitable for a reaction kinetics mathematical modeling of the mixture and further studies of increasing complexity.
Keywords: degradation, mixture of pollutants, reaction scheme, UVC/hydrogen peroxide