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Degradation of Perfluorooctanoic Acid by Reactive Species Generated through Catalyzed H2O2 Propagation Reactions

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Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Washington State University, Pullman, Washington 99163-2910, United States
*E-mail: [email protected]. Phone: (509) 335-3761. Fax: (509) 335-7632.
Cite this: Environ. Sci. Technol. Lett. 2014, 1, 1, 117–121
Publication Date (Web):October 18, 2013
Copyright © 2013 American Chemical Society

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    Abstract Image

    Perfluorinated compounds, which are environmentally persistent and bioaccumulative contaminants, cannot currently be treated in the subsurface by in situ technologies. Catalyzed H2O2 propagation (CHP) reactions, which generate hydroxyl radical, hydroperoxide anion, and superoxide anion, were investigated for treating perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) as a basis for in situ chemical oxidation remediation of groundwater. Using 1 M H2O2 and 0.5 mM iron(III), PFOA was degraded by 89% within 150 min. Hydroxyl radical does not react with PFOA, but systems producing only superoxide promoted 68% PFOA degradation within 150 min. In systems producing only hydroperoxide, the level of PFOA degradation was 80% over 150 min. The generation of near-stoichiometric equivalents of fluoride during PFOA degradation and the lack of detectable degradation products suggest PFOA may be mineralized by CHP. CHP process conditions can be adjusted during treatability studies to increase the flux of superoxide and hydroperoxide to treat PFOA, providing an easily implemented technology.

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    Treatment of PFOA in a traditional Fenton system generating only hydroxyl radical (Figure S1) and pseudo-first-order rate constants for PFOA destruction in CHP, superoxide, and hydroperoxide systems (Table S1). This material is available free of charge via the Internet at

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