Comparison of Fenton, UV-Fenton and nano-Fe3O4 catalyzed UV-Fenton in degradation of phloroglucinol under neutral and alkaline conditions: Role of complexation of Fe3+ with hydroxyl group in phloroglucinol

Yong Wang, Xihuang Lin, Zongze Shao, Dapeng Shan, Guizhen Li, Irini Angelidaki

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Phloroglucinol degradation at initial pH from 7.0 to 9.0 has been investigated in Fenton, UV-Fenton and nano-Fe3O4 catalyzed UV-Fenton (Hetero-Fenton). Within the reaction time given in this study (not more than 4 h), 150 mg·L−1 phloroglucinol was completely removed, while there was some difference in TOC removal efficiency: about 90% for UV-Fenton, nearly 60% for Fenton and Hetero-Fenton. Increasing initial pH from 7.0 to 9.0, there was an obvious decline in the degradation rate. The average values of H2O2 utilization efficiency were 0.65 ± 0.01 for Fenton, 0.66 ± 0.09 for UV-Fenton, and 1.35 ± 0.15 for Hetero-Fenton, suggesting Hetero-Fenton required less H2O2 consumption. Solution pH could decrease to strongly acidic conditions of pH <4.0 and the generation of organic acids including formic, acetic, oxalic, and maleic acids depended on the type of oxidation process. The spectrophotometric study showed phloroglucinol would complex with Fe(III) at pH 7.0 to form homogeneous aqueous solution which exhibited strong light absorption in the wavelength range of 400 nm to 600 nm. Therefore, formation of Fe(III)-phloroglucinol complex and pH decrease to strongly acidic condition played important roles in Fenton degradation under neutral and alkaline pH. The result of effect of pollutant content showed phloroglucinol at lower concentrations of 20 and 50 mg·L−1 could still be completely removed by all Fenton-based systems at pH 7.0, however, in Fenton with 20 mg·L−1 phloroglucinol, a significantly decreased degradation rate was observed due to the slowdown of pH drop and inhibited formation of Fe(III)-phloroglucinol complex.
Original languageEnglish
JournalBiochemical Engineering Journal
Pages (from-to)938-945
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Chemistry (all)
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Chemical Engineering (all)
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
  • Fe(III)-phloroglucinol complex
  • Fenton
  • Nano-Fe3O4 catalyzed UV-Fenton
  • Phloroglucinol degradation
  • UV-Fenton


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