The aim of this work was to investigate the generation of sulfate radical for the removal of two carboxylic acids in aqueous solution: acetic and citric acids. From photochemical and radiolytic processes, kinetics of the degradation of these two carboxylic acids was studied as a function of the pH of the solution. It was shown that the maximum of acetic acid degradation occurred at pH 5. Above this pH, competitive reactions with the carbon mineralized inhibit the reaction of with the solute. In the case of citric acid, pH has only a little effect on the kinetic of citric acid degradation. The determination of mineralization yields shows several differences depending on carboxylic acids and pH. The degradation of both carboxylic acids was also studied in the radiolysis process whether with or without persulfate addition. A comparison of the processes of sulfate radical production is presented.
Keywords: acetic acid, citric acid, mineralization, oxidation, sulfate radical