Radiation Induced Degradation of Organic Pollutants in Waters and Wastewaters

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

5 Citations (Scopus)


In water treatment by ionizing radiation, and also in other advanced oxidation processes, the main goal is to destroy, or at least to deactivate harmful water contaminants: pharmaceutical compounds, pesticides, surfactants, health-care products, etc. The chemical transformations are mainly initiated by hydroxyl radicals, and the reactions of the formed carbon centered radicals with dissolved oxygen basically determine the rate of oxidation. The concentration of the target compounds is generally very low as compared to the concentration of such natural ‘impurities’ as chloride and carbonate/bicarbonate ions or the dissolved humic substances (generally referred to as dissolved organic carbon), which consume the majority of the hydroxyl radicals. The different constituents compete for reacting with radicals initiating the degradation. This manuscript discusses the radiation chemistry of this complex system. It includes the reactions of the primary water radiolysis intermediates (hydroxyl radical, hydrated electron/hydrogen atom), the reactions of radicals that form in radical transfer reactions (dichloride-, carbonate- and sulfate radical anions) and also the contribution to the degradation of organic compounds of such additives as hydrogen peroxide, ozone or persulfate.

Original languageEnglish
Article number50
JournalTopics in Current Chemistry
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1 2016


  • Advanced oxidation processes
  • Degradation
  • Radical
  • Radiolysis
  • Water treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)

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