Environmental Chemistry Letters

, Volume 18, Issue 1, pp 237–241 | Cite as

Enhanced abatement of organic contaminants by zero-valent copper and sulfite

  • Xiaodan ZhaoEmail author
  • Ying Wu
  • Danying Xing
  • Zhaojin Ren
  • Lingfeng Ye
Original Paper


Sulfate radicals (SO4·−) are highly efficient for the degradation organic pollutants. SO4·− can be produced by activation of sulfites, yet actual heterogeneous activators exhibit a lower reactivity for activation of sulfite to SO4·− at pH 7.0–8.0. Here we hypothesized that zero-valent copper can activate sulfite under mild conditions. We tested the reaction with iohexol, diatrizoate, atrazine, benzoic acid, and p-chlorobenzoic acid contaminants. Reactive radicals were identified by electron paramagnetic resonance, fluorescence spectrometry, and radical scavenging experiments. Results show up to 90% abatement of contaminants by combining sulfite with zero-valent copper at pH 8.0. Moreover, zero-valent copper maintains a crystalline stability and satisfactory reusability with iohexol abatement efficiency up to 80% after five runs.


Sulfite Organic contaminants Iohexol Sulfate radical Zero-valent copper Advanced oxidation processes 



This work was funded by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 51808233).


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of Chemical EngineeringHuaqiao UniversityXiamenChina

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