Overlooked Role of Peroxides as Free Radical Precursors in Advanced Oxidation Processes

Zhihao Chen, Xuchun Li, Shujuan Zhang, Jiyuan Jin, Xiaojie Song, Xiaomeng Wang, Paul G. Tratnyek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


Research efforts on advanced oxidation processes (AOPs) have long been focused on the fundamental chemistry of activation processes and free radical reactions. Little attention has been paid to the chemistry of the precursor oxidants. Herein, we found that the precursor oxidants could lead to quite different outcomes. A counterintuitive result was observed in the photoreduction of bromate/iodate: The combination of H2O2 and UV enhanced the reduction of bromate/iodate, whereas the addition of persulfate to the UV system led to an inhibitory effect. Thermodynamic and kinetic evidence suggests that the reduction of bromate in UV/H2O2 was attributable to the direct reaction between HOBr and H2O2. Both experimental determination and kinetic simulation demonstrate that the reaction between HOBr and H2O2 dominated over the ¢OH-mediated reactions. These results suggest that H2O2 possesses some particular redox properties that distinguish it from other peroxides. The prototypical UV/H2O2 process is not always an AOP: It can also be an enhanced reduction process for chemicals with intermediates that are reducible by H2O2. Considering the increasing interest in persulfate-based AOPs, the results of this study identify some novel advantages of the classical H2O2-based AOPs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2054-2062
Number of pages9
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Feb 19 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • Environmental Chemistry


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