Effects of inorganic anions on Fenton oxidation of organic species in landfill leachate

Yang Deng, Edualberto Rosario-Muniz, Xingmao Ma

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Fenton oxidation typically achieves only a moderate removal efficiency of chemical oxidation demand (COD) in treatment of a landfill leachate, incomparable to some other chemical oxidation processes (e.g. electrochemical oxidation). A traditional viewpoint is that the remaining highly oxidized organic species become recalcitrant to hydroxyl radical (OH·)-induced oxidation at a higher degree of Fenton oxidation. Although this may, at least partially, be true, the effects of inorganic anions, which are abundant in leachate, on Fenton oxidation have been largely ignored. The objective of this study is to assess the roles of three inorganic anions (nitrate, sulfate, and chloride) originally present in or externally added to leachate during Fenton oxidation of refractory organic species in leachate. Nitrate (NO 3 -) did not significantly affect the COD removal rate. In contrast, sulfate (SO 4- 2) and chloride (Cl -), particularly the latter, inhibited Fenton oxidation. Their inhibiting effect may be ascribed to: (1) scavenging of OH·; and (2) competition with H 2O 2 to form Fe(III) complexes, thus preventing the Fe(II) regeneration from Fe(III) reduction. At 2.125H 2O 2:initial COD(COD 0) = 9.0, [H 2O 2]:[Fe 2+] = 3, and pH = 3.0, 96, 62, 49, and 37% of COD 0 (1254mgL -1) were removed in the presence of 0, 1270, 5000, and 10000mgL -1 Cl -, respectively.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)12-19
Number of pages8
JournalWaste Management and Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2012


  • Chloride
  • Fenton oxidation
  • Hydroxyl radicals
  • Landfill leachate
  • Nitrate
  • Sulfate


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