Oxidation of nonylphenol ethoxylates in aqueous solution by UV-C photolysis, H2O2/UV-C, Fenton and photo-Fenton processes: are these processes toxicologically safe?

Karci A., ARSLAN-ALATON I., Bekbolet M.

WATER SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY, vol.68, no.8, pp.1801-1809, 2013 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 68 Issue: 8
  • Publication Date: 2013
  • Doi Number: 10.2166/wst.2013.422
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.1801-1809
  • Istanbul Technical University Affiliated: No


UV-C, H2O2/UV-C, Fenton and photo-Fenton treatment of a nonylphenol polyethoxylate (NP-10) were comparatively studied, primarily focusing on the acute toxicity of degradation products. Formic, acetic and oxalic acids were all identified as the degradation products of NP-10; however, the sole common carboxylic acid was found to be formic acid for the studied treatment processes. The percent relative inhibition towards Vibrio fischeri increased from 9% to 33% and 24% after 120 min-UV-C and H2O2/UV-C treatment, respectively. Complete NP-10 and 70% of its total organic carbon (TOC) content was removed by the photo-Fenton process, which ensured the fastest removal rates and lowest inhibitory effect (8% after 120 min treatment). The acute toxicity pattern being observed during H2O2/UV-C and photo-Fenton treatment positively correlated with temporal evolution of the identified carboxylic acids, whereas unidentified oxidation products were the most likely origin of the acute toxicity in UV-C photolysis.