Catalytic degradation of organic pollutants in Fe(III)/peroxymonosulfate (PMS) system: performance, influencing factors, and pathway

  • Abdul Latif
  • Sun Kai
  • Youbin SiEmail author
Research Article


This study demonstrated, for the first time, Fe(III)/peroximonosulphate (PMS) could be an efficient advanced oxidation process (AOP) for wastewater treatment. Bisphenol A (BPA) was chosen as a model pollutant in the present study. Fe(III)-activated PMS system proved very effective to eliminate 92.18% of BPA (20 mg/L) for 30-min reaction time at 0.50 mM PMS, 1.5 g/L Fe(III), pH 7.0. The maximum degradation of BPA occurred at neutral pH, while it was suppressed at both strongly acidic and alkaline conditions. Organic and inorganic ions can interfere with system efficiency either positively or negatively, so their interaction was thoroughly investigated. Furthermore, the presence of organic acids also affected BPA degradation rate, especially the addition of 10 mM citric acid decreased the degradation rate from 92.18 to 66.08%. Radical scavenging experiments showed that SO4•– was the dominant reactive species in Fe(III)/PMS system. A total of 5 BPA intermediates were found by using LC/MS. A possible degradation pathway was proposed which underwent through bridge cleavage and hydroxylation processes. Acute toxicity of the BPA degradation products was assessed using Escherichia coli growth inhibition test. These findings proved to be promising and economical to deal with wastewater using iron mineral for the elimination of organic pollutants.

Graphical abstract


Advanced oxidation process (AOP) Fe(III)/PMS system BPA degradation Influencing factors Reaction pathway 



This work was financially supported by the National Science Foundation of China (41471405) and the Natural Science Foundation of Anhui Province (1808085QD104, 1908085MD111), and Chinese Scholarship Council is also greatly acknowledged for providing the CSC Scholarship.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflicts of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

11356_2019_6657_MOESM1_ESM.doc (186 kb)
ESM 1Table S1. The First-order reaction rate constant (k), half-life (DT50) and regression coefficient (R2) of different parameter. Table S2. Characteristics of real wastewater. Table S3. LC/MS intermediate products obtained during BPA degradation in Fe(III) /PMS system. Fig. S1. Change in pH vs. reaction time during BPA degradation in Fe(III) /PMS system. (DOC 242 kb)


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Copyright information

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

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Anhui Province Key Laboratory of Farmland Ecological Conservation and Pollution Prevention, School of Resources and EnvironmentAnhui Agricultural UniversityHefeiChina

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