Enhanced decomposition of 1,4-dioxane in water by ozonation under alkaline condition

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1,4-Dioxane is a probable human carcinogenic and refractory substance that is widely detected in aquatic environments. Traditional wastewater treatment processes, including activated sludge, cannot remove 1,4-dioxane. Removing 1,4-dioxane with a reaction kinetic constant of 0.32 L/(mol·s) by using ozone, a strong oxidant, is difficult. However, under alkaline environment, ozone generates a hydroxyl radical (•OH) that exhibits strong oxidative potential. Thus, the ozonation of 1,4-dioxane in water under different pH conditions was investigated in this study. In neutral solution, with an inlet ozone feed rate of 0.19 mmol/(L·min), the removal efficiency of 1,4-dioxane was 7.6% at 0.5 h, whereas that in alkaline solution was higher (16.3–94.5%) within a pH range of 9–12. However, the removal efficiency of dissolved organic carbon was considerably lower than that of 1,4-dioxane. This result indicates that several persistent intermediates were generated during 1,4-dioxane ozonation. The pseudo first-order reaction further depicted the reaction of 1,4-dioxane. The obvious kinetic constants (kobs) at pH 9, 10, 11 and 12 were 0.94, 2.41, 24.88 and 2610 L/(mol·s), respectively. Scavenger experiments on radical species indicated that •OH played a key role in removing 1,4-dioxane during ozonation under alkaline condition.

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