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Efficient oxidation of bisphenol A with oxysulfur radicals generated by iron-catalyzed autoxidation of sulfite at circumneutral pH under UV irradiation

Abstract

There is actually a need for efficient methods to clean waters and wastewaters from pollutants such as the bisphenol A endocrine disrupter. Advanced oxidation processes currently use persulfate or peroxymonosulfate to generate sulfate radicals. There are, however, few reports on the use of sulfite to generate sulfate radicals, instead of persulfate or peroxymonosulfate, except for dyes. Here we studied the degradation of the bisphenol A using iron(III) as catalyst and sulfite as precursor of oxysulfur radicals, at initial pH of 6, under UV irradiation at 395 nm. The occurrence of radicals was checked by quenching with tert-butyl alcohol and ethanol. Bisphenol A degradation products were analyzed by liquid chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry (LC–MS). Results reveal that iron(III) or iron(II) have a similar oxidation efficiency. Quenching experiments show that the oxidation rate of bisphenol A is 47.7 % for SO ·−4 , 37.3 % for SO ·−5 and 15 % for HO·. Bisphenol A degradation products include catechol and quinone derivatives. Overall, our findings show that the photo-iron(III)–sulfite system is efficient for the oxidation of bisphenol A at circumneutral pH.

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Acknowledgments

This work was supported by the Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 21477090). Comments from anonymous reviewers are also appreciated.

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Correspondence to Feng Wu or Gilles Mailhot.

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Yu, Y., Li, S., Peng, X. et al. Efficient oxidation of bisphenol A with oxysulfur radicals generated by iron-catalyzed autoxidation of sulfite at circumneutral pH under UV irradiation. Environ Chem Lett 14, 527–532 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10311-016-0573-3

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10311-016-0573-3

Keywords

  • Bisphenol A
  • Iron
  • Sulfite
  • Oxysulfur radical
  • Hydroxyl radical
  • Advanced oxidation processes