Hydroxyl Radical Generation and Contaminant Removal from Water by the Collapse of Microbubbles Under Different Hydrochemical Conditions
The present study addresses the mechanism of hydroxyl radical (·OH) generation by the collapse of microbubbles in water solution. The influence of gas supply and flow rate, solution pH, and ionic strength on the aeration efficiency, free radical generation, and contaminant removal (take methylene blue as an example) are elucidated. The results showed that the degradation rate of methylene blue by ·OH increased with flow rate as well as in acidic or alkaline solutions compared to that in neutral conditions. ·OH was shown to be produced by the reaction between protons and oxygen radicals generated by the decomposition of O2 rather than water molecules. A greater concentration of O2 or H+ thus promoted the reaction, resulting in effective removal at a high flow rate or low pH. Nevertheless, there was considerable methylene blue removal at high pH, driven by the production of the dye cation through the dissociation of methylene blue and the high electronegativity of bubbles at high pH, thus enhancing interface adsorption and degradation, as well as by the high ionic strength of the solution helping to generate ultrafine bubbles and maintaining them through ionic shielding. The current work provides useful insights into the application of microbubble as a promising technique.