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Degradation of Alkylphenol Ethoxylate Surfactants in Water with Ultrasonic Irradiation

Destaillats, Hugo and Hung, Hui-Ming and Hoffmann, Michael R. (2000) Degradation of Alkylphenol Ethoxylate Surfactants in Water with Ultrasonic Irradiation. Environmental Science and Technology, 34 (2). pp. 311-317. ISSN 0013-936X. http://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20150807-112623011

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Abstract

During the last years, many efforts have been devoted to the elimination of alkylphenol ethoxylate surfactants from aqueous systems. In this paper, the sonochemical degradation of aqueous solutions of Triton X-100 was performed at an ultrasonic frequency of 358 kHz and an applied power of 50 W. Analysis of the reaction products by HPLC-ES−MS suggests that the hydrophobic alkyl chain is the preferential site for oxidation. Alkylphenol, or short-chain ethoxylated phenols, were not generated as byproducts. To verify this hypothesis, the sonochemical degradation of the corresponding alkylphenols (e.g., tert-octylphenol) was performed under the same conditions; in these cases, similar rate constants and products were observed. These results differ from those reported for the biodegradation of alkylphenol ethoxylates. A substantial increase in the rate constant was observed for the degradation of Triton X-100 below its critical micelle concentration. This observation indicates that micelle formation serves to effectively isolate the free surfactant monomers from the water−air interface of the oscillating cavitation bubbles, thus decreasing the overall efficiency of the sonochemical process. The hydrophobic tail of the molecule is no longer exposed directly to the bubble “hot spot” when it is pointed into the core of the micelles.


Item Type:Article
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/es990384xDOIArticle
http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/es990384xPublisherArticle
ORCID:
AuthorORCID
Hoffmann, Michael R.0000-0002-0432-6564
Additional Information:© 2000 American Chemical Society. Received for review April 5, 1999. Revised manuscript received October 25, 1999. Accepted October 28, 1999. Publication Date (Web): December 9, 1999. The authors thank Dr. A. J. Colussi for helpful discussions. Financial support from the Department of Energy (DOE 1963472402) is gratefully acknowledged.
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Funding AgencyGrant Number
Department of Energy (DOE)DOE 1963472402
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20150807-112623011
Persistent URL:http://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20150807-112623011
Official Citation:Degradation of Alkylphenol Ethoxylate Surfactants in Water with Ultrasonic Irradiation Hugo Destaillats, Hui-Ming Hung, and Michael R. Hoffmann Environmental Science & Technology 2000 34 (2), 311-317 DOI: 10.1021/es990384x
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:59312
Collection:CaltechAUTHORS
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:07 Aug 2015 23:19
Last Modified:07 Aug 2015 23:19

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