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Adsorption and photocatalytic decomposition of roxarsone by TiO2 and its mechanism

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Roxarsone (3-nitro-4-hydroxyphenylarsonic acid) has been widely used as organic arsenic additive in animal industry. In this study, the adsorption of roxarsone on TiO2 under dark conditions, the photocatalytic decomposition of roxarsone under UV/TiO2, and the possible photocatalytic pathway were investigated. At the initial concentration of 5–35 mg/L, the adsorption of roxarsone fitted well with the pseudo-second-order kinetics. The isotherms analysis showed that the Langmuir model was better than the Freundlich and Dubinin–Radushkevich models for describing the adsorption process. After 7 h of photocatalytic decomposition, a complete disappearance of roxarsone was achieved. The pH value has a significant effect on both adsorption and photocatalytic decomposition of roxarsone. The results of high-performance liquid chromatography-hydride generation-atomic fluorescence spectrometry (HPLC-HG-AFS) and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC/MS) analyses proved the cleavage of the As-C bond during the photocatalytic decomposition process by TiO2 and the intermediates of the decomposition. Based on the results, a possible photocatalytic decomposition pathway was proposed.

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This research was partly supported by the NSFC (51078122, 41130206), the Key Special Program on the S&T for the Pollution Control (2012ZX07103-001), the Program for New Century Excellent Talents in University (NCET-11-0624), and the Science and Technology Innovation Fund from Beijing Academy of Agriculture and Forestry Sciences (CXJJ201317).

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Correspondence to Zhen-Hu Hu.

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Responsible editor: Philippe Garrigues

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Lu, D., Ji, F., Wang, W. et al. Adsorption and photocatalytic decomposition of roxarsone by TiO2 and its mechanism. Environ Sci Pollut Res 21, 8025–8035 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11356-014-2729-7

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  • Adsorption
  • Decomposition pathway
  • Photocatalysis
  • Roxarsone
  • TiO2