Zero-valent iron/persulfate(Fe0/PS) oxidation acetaminophen in water

J. Deng, Y. Shao, N. Gao, Y. Deng, C. Tan, S. Zhou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

103 Scopus citations


Zero-valent iron (Fe0), as an alternative iron source, was evaluated to activate persulfate (PS) to degrade acetaminophen (APAP), a representative pharmaceutically active compound in water. Effects of key factors in the so-called Fe0/PS process, including Fe0 dosage, initial pH, temperatures and chelating agents, were studied. Under all the conditions tested, the APAP degradation followed a pseudo-first-order kinetics pattern. The degradation efficiency of APAP was highest when the Fe0 to PS molar ratio increased to 1:1, and the degradation rate constant and removal were 23.19 × 10-3 min-1 and 93.19 %, respectively. Comparing with Fe2+, Fe0 served as an alternative iron source that can gradually release Fe2+ into water, thereby consistently activating PS to produce sulfate radicals. The Fe0/PS system was effective in a broader pH range from 3 to 8.5. Heat could facilitate production of sulfate radicals and enhance the APAP degradation in the Fe0/PS system. High reaction temperature also improved the Fe2+/PS oxidation of APAP. Finally, sodium citrate (a chelating agent) at an appropriate concentration could improve the APAP degradation rate in the Fe2+/PS and Fe0/PS system. The optimal molar ratio of Fe0 to citrate depended on solution pH. Our results demonstrated that Fe0 was an alternative iron source to activate PS to degrade APAP in water.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)881-890
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Science and Technology
Issue number4
StatePublished - May 2014


  • Affecting factors
  • Sodium citrate
  • Sulfate radicals
  • Temperature
  • pH


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