Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 26, Issue 9, pp 8914–8927 | Cite as

Thermochemical degradation of furfural by sulfate radicals in aqueous solution: optimization and synergistic effect studies

  • Reza Shokoohi
  • Somaye Bajalan
  • Mehdi Salari
  • Amir ShabanlooEmail author
Research Article


In this study, thermochemical degradation of furfural by sulfate radical has been investigated to find the best-operating conditions. For this purpose, the response surface methodology (RSM) based on central composite design (CCD) was applied to optimize the five independent variables of thermally activated persulfate (TAP)/nZVI oxidation process including pH, PS concentration, furfural concentration, nZVI dosage, and heat. The ANOVA results (“P > F value” < 0.0001 and \( {\mathrm{R}}_{\mathrm{adj}}^2 \) = 0.9701) showed the obtained quadratic model is acceptable to predict furfural removal. Based on the reduced quadratic model PS concentration, nZVI dosage, and heat revealed the positive effects on removal efficiency, while pH and furfural concentration had a negative effect. Accordingly, 98.4% of furfural could be removed within 60 min of reaction under the optimum conditions: pH 5.26, PS concentration of 20.52 mM, furfural concentration of 84.32 mg/L, nZVI dosage of 1.15 mg/L, and a temperature of 79 °C. In such circumstances, the furfural removal efficiency for TAP, PS/nZVI, PS, and nZVI was 94.5, 9, 3, and 2%, respectively. Therefore, based on the synergy index (SI) values, the combination of PS, nZVI, and heat can lead to a synergistic effect in the performance of the thermochemical process.


Furfural Thermally activated persulfate Synergistic effect Sulfate radical Optimization Central composite design 



The authors appreciate the supports from the Hamadan University of Medical Sciences of Iran.


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Copyright information

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

Authors and Affiliations

  • Reza Shokoohi
    • 1
  • Somaye Bajalan
    • 1
  • Mehdi Salari
    • 1
  • Amir Shabanloo
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Environmental Health Engineering, School of HealthHamadan University of Medical SciencesHamadanIran

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