Pharmaceutical and personal care products (PPCPs), as a new kind of pollutant, have obtained great attention. PPCPs has a wide variety, such as antibiotics, synthetic musk, analgesics, antihypertensives, contraceptives, hypnotics, weight loss drugs, hair gels, hair dyes and disinfectants. When PPCPs get into the water body, they will endanger the human body through drinking and eating. They are frequently detected in various water sources in Asia, Europe and America due to their enormous production, universal consumption, and considerable persistence.
Chloroxylenol (p-chloro-m-xylenol, PCMX) is one of the representative PPCPs widely applied as an active agent in antimicrobial disinfectant, liquid soaps, and hand washing liquid; or an antiseptic in cosmetics, coating, weaving and so on. PCMX residue in the environment poses a signi?cant threat to human health and aquatic life because it causes adverse e?ects such as allergic contact dermatitis, neurotoxicity and genotoxicity effects. Therefore, it is important and urgent to develop an e?ective technique for eliminating PCMX from water.
Recently, Prof. Zhang, from College of Water Sciences, Beijing Normal University, and his group have published their latest research about this issue on the Chemical Engineering Journal. They started from the advanced oxidation process (AOPs) which produces highly active oxidative free radicals (such as hydroxyl radicals (·OH), sulfate radicals (SRs, SO4-·) and so on). SRs based on AOPs have high oxidation ability at acidic and neutral conditions, their more selective ability than hydroxyl radicals to degrade organics, and their high oxidation e?ciencies in the presence of carbonate and phosphate. Due to these characteristics, they’ve tried to oxidize PCMX by using thermal activated persulfate (TAP) into low toxicity/non-toxic small molecules.
In this study, the radical species in the reaction were proved by electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopy and the possible pathways of PCMX degradation were proposed based on intermediate detection.
They’ve found that both ·OH and SRs were generated in the TAP system, as demonstrated by EPR spectroscopy, and the predominant reactive oxygen species was SRs in neutral solution, identi?ed by radical scavenging tests.
Electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) or electron spin resonance (ESR) spectroscopy is a method for studying materials with unpaired electrons. The basic concepts of EPR are analogous to those of nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), but it is electron spins that are excited instead of the spins of atomic nuclei. EPR spectroscopy is particularly useful for studying metal complexes or organic radicals. The instrument used in this study is Magnettech MS 5000 EPR spectrometer, from Germany. MS 5000 shows high sensitivity and stability in the research, and the simplicity of operation and the high efficiency of detection have been complimented by all group.
Reference: Yujiao Sun, Juanjuan Zhao, Bo-Tao Zhang, Jie Li, Yongbin Shi, Yang Zhang, Oxidative degradation of chloroxylenol in aqueous solution by thermally activated persulfate: Kinetics, mechanisms and toxicities, Chemical Engineering Journal, 2019, 368, 553-563.
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