Gallic acid degradation by electron beam irradiation under various conditions

  • Turki S. AlkhuraijiEmail author
  • Sahidou O. B. Boukari
  • Nathalie Karpel Vel Leitner
Research Article


In this study, aqueous solutions of gallic acid (GA) were irradiated in an electron beam (EB) accelerator under different experimental conditions (various initial GA concentrations, presence or absence of oxidant and oxygen). For an initial GA concentration of 50 μM, complete GA degradation was achieved with an absorbed dose of 850 Gy in the presence of dissolved oxygen. Both GA removal and mineralization are favored when oxygen is present. The addition of persulfate anions (S2O82−) or hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) also increased the efficiency of GA degradation and mineralization. For an absorbed dose of 14 kGy, GA mineralization reached approximately 45%, 55%, and 72% for the EB, EB/H2O2, and EB/S2O82−systems, respectively. Three transformation products were tentatively identified in the presence of oxygen, these are the result of hydroxylation and ring opening reactions. No specific transformation product was found for the sulfate radical anion (SO4–●) reaction. Four additional compounds, including a dimer, were identified in oxygen-free solutions. These findings demonstrate that water radiolysis based on EB irradiation is an efficient process to activate H2O2 and S2O82− anions and is an advanced oxidation process (AOP).


Water radiolysis Hydroxybenzoic acid Persulfate anions Oxygen Transformation products Electron beam Gallic acid 



The authors acknowledge financial support from the European Union (ERDF) and “Région Nouvelle Aquitaine.” The authors would like to acknowledge King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) for financially supporting Dr. T. S. Alkhuraiji via a grant. The authors are also grateful to Sylvie Liu for her valuable assistance in the LC/MS analyses.


The Université de Poitiers, France, supported this work.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


  1. Ahmadi M, Behin J, Mahnam AR (2016) Kinetics and thermodynamics of peroxydisulfate oxidation of reactive yellow 84. J Saudi Chem Soc 20:644–650. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Alkhuraiji TS, Leitner NKV (2016) Effect of oxidant addition on the elimination of 2-naphthalenesulfonate in aqueous solutions by electron beam irradiation. Radiat Phys Chem 126:95–102. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Alkhuraiji TS, Boukari SOB, Alfadhl FS (2017) Gamma irradiation-induced complete degradation and mineralization of phenol in aqueous solution: effects of reagent. J Hazard Mater 328:29–36. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Andreozzi R, Campanella L, Fraysse B, Garric J, Gonnella A, Giudice RL, Marotta R, Pinto G, Pollio A (2004) Effects of advanced oxidation processes (AOPs) on the toxicity of a mixture of pharmaceuticals. Water Sci Technol 50:23–28CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Beltrán FJ, Encinar JM, García-Araya JF (1993) Oxidation by ozone and chlorine dioxide of two distillery wastewater contaminants: gallic acid and epicatechin. Water Res 27:1023–1032. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Beltrán FJ, Gimeno O, Rivas FJ, Carbajo M (2006) Photocatalytic ozonation of gallic acid in water. J Chem Technol Biotechnol 81:1787–1796. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Benitez FJ, Real FJ, Acero JL, Leal AI, Garcia C (2005) Gallic acid degradation in aqueous solutions by UV/H2O2 treatment, Fenton's reagent and the photo-Fenton system. J Hazard Mater 126:31–39. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Bensalah N, Chair K, Bedoui A (2018) Efficient degradation of tannic acid in water by UV/H2O2 process. Sustain Environ Res 28:1–11. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Bolton JR, Bircher KG, Tumas W, Tolman CA (2001) Figures-of-merit for the technical development and application of advanced oxidation technologies for both electric- and solar-driven systems. Pure Appl Chem 73:627–637. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Boukari SO, Pellizzari F, Leitner NKL (2011) Influence of persulfate ions on the removal of phenol in aqueous solution using electron beam irradiation. J Hazard Mater 185:844–851. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Buxton GV, Greenstock CL, Helman WP, Ross AB (1988) Critical review of rate constants for reactions of hydrated electrons, hydrogen atoms and hydroxyl radicals (·OH/·O− in aqueous solution). J Phys Chem Ref Data 17:513–886. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Carbajo M, Beltrán FJ, Medina F, Gimeno O, Rivas FJ (2006) Catalytic ozonation of phenolic compounds: the case of gallic acid. Appl Catal B Environ 67:177–186. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Caregnato P, Gara PM, Bosio GN, Gonzalez MC, Russo N, Mdel CM, Martire DO (2008) Theoretical and experimental investigation on the oxidation of gallic acid by sulfate radical anions. J Phys Chem A 112:1188–1194. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Cooper WJ, Meacham DE, Nickelsen MG, Lin K, Ford DB, Kurucz CN, Waite TD (1993) The removal of tri- (TCE) and tetrachloroethylene (PCE) from aqueous solution using high energy electrons. J Air Waste Manage Assoc 43:1358–1366. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Criquet J, Leitner NKV (2011a) Electron beam irradiation of aqueous solution of persulfate ions. Chem Eng J 169:258–262. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Criquet J, Leitner NKV (2011b) Radiolysis of acetic acid aqueous solutions—effect of pH and persulfate addition. Chem Eng J 174:504–509. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Criquet J, Leitner NKV (2012) Electron beam irradiation of citric acid aqueous solutions containing persulfate. Sep Purif Technol 88:168–173. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Criquet J, Leitner NKV (2015) Reaction pathway of the degradation of the p-hydroxybenzoic acid by sulfate radical generated by ionizing radiations. Radiat Phys Chem 106:307–314. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Dwibedy P, Dey RG, Naik BD, Kishore K, Moorthy NP (1999) Pulse radiolysis studies on redox reactions of gallic acid: one electron oxidation of gallic acid by gallic acid–OH adduct. Phys Chem Chem Phys 1:1915–1918. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Follut F, Leitner NKV (2007) Radiolysis of aqueous 4-nitrophenol solution with Al2O3 or TiO2 nanoparticles. Chemosphere 66:2114–2119. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Fontecha-Cámara MA, Moreno-Castilla C, López-Ramón MV, Álvarez MA (2016) Mixed iron oxides as Fenton catalysts for gallic acid removal from aqueous solutions. Appl Catal B Environ 196:207–215. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Fukushima M, Tanaka S, Hasebe K, Taga M, Nakamura H (1995) Interpretation of the acid-base equilibrium of humic acid by a continuous pK distribution and electrostatic model. Anal Chim Acta 302:365–373. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Gehringer P, Eschweiler H (1999) Ozone/electron beam process for water treatment: design, limitations and economic considerations. Ozone Sci Eng 21:523–538. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Gernjak W, Krutzler T, Glaser A, Malato S, Caceres J, Bauer R, Fernandez-Alba AR (2003) Photo-Fenton treatment of water containing natural phenolic pollutants. Chemosphere 50:71–78CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Getoff N (1996) Radiation-induced degradation of water pollutants—state of the art. Radiat Phys Chem 47:581–593. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Gimeno O, Carbajo M, Lopez MJ, Melero JA, Beltran F, Rivas FJ (2007) Photocatalytic promoted oxidation of phenolic mixtures: an insight into the operating and mechanistic aspects. Water Res 41:4672–4684. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Jiang P-Y, Katsumura Y, Nagaishi R, Domae M, Ishikawa K, Ishigure K, Yoshida Y (1992) Pulse radiolysis study of concentrated sulfuric acid solutions. Formation mechanism, yield and reactivity of sulfate radicals. J Chem Soc Faraday Trans 88:1653–1658. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Kilic MY, Abdelraheem WH, He X, Kestioglu K, Dionysiou DD (2018) Photochemical treatment of tyrosol, a model phenolic compound present in olive mill wastewater, by hydroxyl and sulfate radical-based advanced oxidation processes (AOPs). J Hazard Mater S0304-3894:30502–30508. Google Scholar
  29. Kurucz CN, Waite TD, Cooper WJ, Nickelsen MJ (1991) High energy electron beam irradiation of water, wastewater and sludge. In: Lewins J, Becker M (eds) Advances in nuclear science and technology. Springer US, Boston, MA, pp 1–43Google Scholar
  30. Leitner NKV (2018) Sulfate radical ion-based AOPs. In: Stefan M (ed) Advanced oxidation processes for water treatment: fundamentals and applications. IWA Publishing, London, pp 429–460Google Scholar
  31. Leitner NKV, Doré M (1994) Rôle de l’oxygène dissous dans le mécanisme de décomposition de l’acide formique en solution aqueuse par irradiation UV en présence de peroxyde d’hydrogène. J Chim Phys 91:503–518CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Madureira J, Barros L, Melo R, Verde SC, Ferreira ICFR, Margaça FMA (2018) Degradation of phenolic acids by gamma radiation as model compounds of cork wastewaters. Chem Eng J 341:227–237. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Masschelein W, Denis M, Ledent R (1977) Spectrophotometric determination of residual hydrogen peroxide. Water Sew Works 124:69–72Google Scholar
  34. Melo R, Leal JP, Takacs E, Wojnarovits L (2009) Radiolytic degradation of gallic acid and its derivatives in aqueous solution. J Hazard Mater 172:1185–1192. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Neta P, Huie R, Ross A (1988) Rate constants for reactions of inorganic radicals inaqueous solution. J Phys Chem 17:1027–1047Google Scholar
  36. Nickelsen MG, Cooper WJ, Kurucz CN, Waite TD (1992) Removal of benzene and selected alkyl-substituted benzenes from aqueous solution utilizing continuous high-energy electron irradiation. Environ Sci Technol 26:144–152. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Pajares A, Bregliani M, Montaña MP, Criado S, Massad W, Gianotti J, Gutiérrez I, García NA (2010) Visible-light promoted photoprocesses on aqueous gallic acid in the presence of riboflavin. Kinetics and mechanism. J Photochem Photobiol A Chem 209:89–94. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Pellizzari F, Follut F, Leitner NKV (2006) A simplified reaction model predicting the effect of some parameters on the degradation of phenol in the electron beam process. Radiochim Acta 94:481–486CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Quici N, Litter MI (2009) Heterogeneous photocatalytic degradation of gallic acid under different experimental conditions. Photochem Photobiol Sci 8:975–984. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Quici N, Litter MI, Braun AM, Oliveros E (2008) Vacuum-UV-photolysis of aqueous solutions of citric and gallic acids. J Photochem Photobiol A Chem 197:306–312. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Roshani B, Leitner NK (2011) Effect of persulfate on the oxidation of benzotriazole and humic acid by e-beam irradiation. J Hazard Mater 190:403–408. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Saroj DP, Kumar A, Bose P, Tare V, Dhopavkar Y (2005) Mineralization of some natural refractory organic compounds by biodegradation and ozonation. Water Res 39:1921–1933. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Slawiñska D, Polewski K, Rolewski P, Sawiñsk J (2007) Synthesis and properties of model humic substances derived from gallic acid. Int Agrophys 21:199–208Google Scholar
  44. Spinks J, Woods R (1990) An introduction to radiation chemistry. Wiley-Interscience, NewYorkGoogle Scholar
  45. Stanbury DM (1989) Reduction potentials involving inorganic free radicals in aqueous solution. Adv Inorg Chem 33:69–138. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Stefan M (2018) UV/hydrogen peroxide process. In: Stefan M (ed) Advanced oxidation processes for water treatment: fundamentals and applications. IWA Publishing, London, pp 7–122Google Scholar
  47. Villegas E, Pomeranz Y, Shellenberger JA (1963) Colorimetric determination of persulfate with alcian blue. Anal Chim Acta 29:145–148. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Wang J, Xu L (2018) AOPs for municipal and industrial wastewater treatment. In: Stefan M (ed) Advanced oxidation processes for water treatment: fundamentals and applications. IWA Publishing, London, pp 631–665Google Scholar
  49. Wardman P (1989) Reduction potentials of one-electron couples involving free radicals in aqueous solution. J Phys Chem Ref Data 18:1637–1755. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Wojnarovits L, Takacs E, Szabo L (2018) Gamma-ray and electron beam-based AOPs. In: Stefan M (ed) Advanced oxidation processes for water treatment: fundamentals and applications. IWA Publishing, London, pp 241–295Google Scholar
  51. Yuan W, Zydney AL (1999) Humic acid fouling during microfiltration. J Membr Sci 157:1–12. CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Turki S. Alkhuraiji
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Sahidou O. B. Boukari
    • 2
  • Nathalie Karpel Vel Leitner
    • 2
  1. 1.King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST), Nuclear Science Research Institute, National Center for Irradiation TechnologyInnovation and Industrialization Affairs, Saudi-Chinese Centre for Technology TransferRiyadhSaudi Arabia
  2. 2.Institut de Chimie des Milieux et des Matériaux de Poitiers (IC2MP)Université de Poitiers, UMR CNRS 7285, Equipe Eaux, Biomarqueurs, Contaminants Organiques, Milieux, ENSIPPoitiers Cedex 9France

Personalised recommendations